Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Confirmed!

In a Vanity Fair exclusive (warning, somewhat disturbing Annie Lebowitz photo at the top) it's confirmed that Armstrong is going to race the Tour next year and he intends to win it. See this is what I figured. An arch-competitor like him is not going to go back to the Tour unless he intends so win it. It basically goes without question that he's going to be back with Bruyneel at Astana, so where does that leave Contador the current tour winner on the Astana Roster?

Does he stay and publicly say he'll help Armstrong in 2009 while secretly hoping that Armstrong flags and he can jump into team leader position. The problem there is that there's a decent chance that this is not the Armstrong of yesteryear but that he keeps it close enough that it's never obvious (until it's too late) that they need to switch from Armstrong to Contador. Contador is young, so on the one hand he could skip a year and still have a great career, on the other hand he's just getting in the really sweet zone for a cyclist and it maybe Lemond and Hinault all over again.

Does he go to another team? I'm sure there's no shortage of teams who'd love to have him, but Astana is the best stage race team out there, do you abandon it just because you're not going to be the leader for one year? Of course this raises the question of whether Armstrong can just walk into the leader position. I mean I assume he can, but if Johan really thinks that Contador has the better chance is he going to ignore that? In any case a 2009 Tour with Armstrong promises, regardless of what else goes down with Contador and the rest, incredibly exciting.

In this theatre that I call my soul/I always play the starring role, so lonely...

Edit: Contador is reported as saying: "It would be an honor to be able to ride with Lance Armstrong. Nothing in this news seems strange to me. Lance Armstrong is such an important rider that you can allow for everything. He's a rider that you could propose as winning the Tour, but for the moment we can only classify these as rumors."

Is it just me or does the "It would be an honor", sound like just the sort of polite thing people say through clenched teeth...

3 Comments:

Blogger aozora said...

"Is it just me or does the "It would be an honor", sound like just the sort of polite thing people say through clenched teeth..."

True pros say such things naturally, even as they fight the urge to resist fear and panic.

Wouldn't it be an honor to have Mr. Armstrong on your team?

5:21 AM  
Blogger aozora said...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/09/10/sarahmiracle.jpg

6:13 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

That's a good one. I'm having hard time believing that she'll have that effect based on the history, but when I look at the polls I'm not so sure.

7:57 AM  

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