Lance Armstrong thread [R]

Discussion in 'Cycling' started by Real Ray, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

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  2. Stud83

    Stud83 Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    :confused: Astana already has Contador, Leipheimer and Kloden, all of which are serious contenders for YJ, are they really going to work for him?
  3. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    I was just going to post this. Maybe Lance is going to be a super domestique? Or perhaps go for the polka-dot jersey?

    I don't know if I'd like this if I were Contador or Leipheimer. Shades of Lemond-Hinault in 1986.
  4. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    http://velonews.com/article/82892/sources-lance-armstrong-coming-back

    Above is a link to another article from Velonews. It looks pretty likely that this is more than a rumor. As far as what role he will play with Astana remains to be seen. Knowing the driven nature of Lance, I can't see him doing this unless he wants to win the TDF. Of course if his fitness dictates otherwise then I could see him accepting the role of domestique.

    The fact that he's running marathons and doing mountain bike centuries is a pretty good indication he's been taking care of himself. If he can get his cadence back then he stands to do at worst well. As for Leiphiemers feelings on the matter, it's a moot point as he'll never attack on a bike. Contador on the other hand may want to challenge for the teams leadership. That said, Lance probably is still an infinitely better TT rider and climber.

    This could get very interesting!!!!!!:)


  5. argentine soccer fan

    argentine soccer fan Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Armstrong is 36, coming from a long layoff, Is it realistic for him to be able to come back and be competitive? I know the man is superman, but still...
  6. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Is it realistic? Of course it is, as an endurance athlete what you lose physically you make up mentally which in truth can be a monumental difference maker on race day. Also if you factor in how dominating the gaps between him and all the second place riders, it would be unfathomable to believe he's lost that much. Considering he's been running marathons lately it's hard to believe he's that out of shape and not mentally tough. You won't find a bikey that considers running 27 miles easier than riding a century.
  7. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Lance is on record as saying something to the effect of running his first marathon was harder than completing the Tour. He also finished second in that recent Leadville century, where the whole race is over something like 10,000 feet. So he's still in some kind of decent form.

    And didn't he also make a comment about riding in the classics and other Grands Tours? Maybe he wants to do that.

    I'd like to see him win the polka dot. That's my second favorite jersey.
  8. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Lance stated that before and just after his last TDF victory. As much as a Vuelta, Giro and Paris Roubaix would beef up his argument for best ever (Personally I'm an Eddy man) I just doubt he wants anything other than the mellow johnny. It is the biggest prize and if he's gonna come back, why come back for anything less?

    Here's the link to the Leadville story. Sounded like a killer ride.

    http://velonews.com/article/81522
  9. prowazekii

    prowazekii Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Answers to a few questions raised here: He has raced competitively recently, 100% sure he's racing in Tour. But not sure it will be with Astana.

    Link
  10. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Naturally Astana seems like the perfect fit for Lance. The only other realistic options imho would be either Columbia or Garmin. I really can't see Lance racing for a non-American team again.

    I also find it amusing that Christoph Preudhome is even a concern. Granted the douche-bag pretty has the final say, it was his silly decision that took an outstanding 08 TDF and kept it from being one of the best in many years. I have no issue with his hard line on doping, but to cherry pick which team he nixed is odd.

    Anyways, I hope for the best for Lance as he is a true cycling legend and regardless of what some have said, a really cool dude. His racing in some of the US Pro Tour events should do wonders for the sport in this country. I did the Tuesday Nighter and the consensus is that with the right team he could definitely be a front runner to wear yellow again.
  11. prowazekii

    prowazekii Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Despite the fact that Astana has Bruyneel and many of Lance's former teammates, they seem set with GC contenders. Also as the team is now technically Kazakh there is probably not going to be as much pressure to bring him in as there would have been if US Postal or Discovery were the sponsors.

    Link
  12. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    :rolleyes:

    This "I'm going to show the world I'm clean" line is such a load of crap. Peel beneath the surface, and I suspect that he's seen his "brand" take a bigger hit than he would like. There have been some sponsors that have stayed loyal-Nike comes to mind. But this comeback strikes me as more to do to restore his image/brand than stoking his competitive fires. He only needs to make a good showing in the Tour-win a stage, have the Yellow for a few days and the Oprah/Today Show crowd will have him back on the pedestal in the way that he wants it-especially as it relates to his post-cycling career.

    That's a cynical take; I give him credit for the work he's done for cancer research. But you know what? Lance Armstrong by all accounts, is a cynical, win-at-all-costs, kind of guy. So if the shoe fits...
  13. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    I don't think anything would cause him to surpass Merckx at this stage. Which is no slight on Armstrong - Merckx was superhuman.
  14. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Armstrong's two biggest sponsors have been Nike and Trek. Being that those two are still with him and in the grand scheme of things Nike is the biggest endorsement an athlete can attain, how has his "brand" suffered? More so how has his image suffered as well? You really don't put yourself through all the suffering that is stage racing just for your image, you do it to win and as you put it, he is a win-at-all-costs competitor. I would say that is his only agenda. The doping crap is to shut up detractors that are convinced he doped even though it was never proven which in cycling is pretty easy to do.

    I agree with you that he could never surpass the Cannibal but ticking off the other two Grand Tours as well as some "big" Spring Classics could make for a compelling argument. That said, I'm a Merckx man and always have been and due to the fact that he raced everything and anything just for the sake of racing is just awesome.
  15. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    True. Merckx was a phenomenal rider. There was so much more to him than the Tour - heck, he won the Giro five times as well, and in his day it was rivalling the big race for popularity. Not to mention winning all three jerseys in the same Tour.

    Sigh. Ahh, nostalgia.
  16. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    I can't see Armstrong riding as a domestique. Echoing the comments above, Astana is going to be very interesting if he joins and at least one of the other two big names doesn't leave.
  17. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    No doubt, no doubt.

    Domestique is definitely out of the question as far as I'm concerned. With Astana the only question/concern would be as to how Contador feels about the situation. Levi for all the love and respect I have for him as a pro will never be seen as a team or GC leader imho. Poor guy just doesn't have it in him to truly attack as a champion would. He would ride for Lance no questions asked Alberto on the other hand I just don't know enough about his persona to say he'd take the back seat. If it's not Astana then Columbia with Georgie makes the most sense especially when considering their big GC rider is Kim Kirchen. Solid rider but in no way going to ever challenge for the mellow johnny.
  18. prowazekii

    prowazekii Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Reactions of some of the other riders:

    Link
  19. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    That's right-a bike company and Nike. You don't really see the big picture here. He is nowhere near the place he should be vis-a-vis the culture or Madison Avenue as a 7-time Tour winner. And why? Because many fans as well as people in media feel he doped. Selena Roberts of SI, in her writing about Roger Clemens wrote that, "Clemens is Lance Armstrong without the cancer halo." That sums it up nicely about both Clemens and Armstrong. I'm sorry, his "image" is that of an amazing cancer survivor, turned bike racing champ, whose achievements are now suspect due to rampant doping in his sport. If you think there's no problem there...well, we have a BIG gap in opinion on this.

    I will give a bit of slack for feeling the pangs of a retired jock. But the larger truth IMO is due to suspicions of doping and his arrogance (which can't be overestimated) he needs a way to sanitize his image and by, "riding for cancer" he kills two birds with one stone.
  20. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    ..oh, and just in case this gets missed: Scientific Error Reignites Debate About Armstrong
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/sports/othersports/11cycling.html?ref=sports
  21. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    All good and well, but how does coming back to the Tour as a 37 (or is it 38?) year old help his brand? It seems like he has more to lose from it than he has to gain from it.

    Furthermore, I don't think you can quantify where he "should be" with respect to his brand. Even if you could, I think you underestimate it. He's a household name in this country and has appeared in movies. He may not be as elevated as Tiger, but that's just as likely due to the fact that competitive cycling isn't a big spectator sport here.

    And I'm not so sure that the "he was great but he must have doped" narrative is the only one that's out there for Lance. There's also the "he survived cancer and won seven tours, then used his fame to raise awareness for cancer and cancer survivors" narrative.

    Ultimately, he has more to lose by coming back as a flop and sowing discord within his team than he has to gain from winning yet another Tour.

    FWIW back in 2005, Forbes ranked Lance third on its list of celebrity athletes.
  22. Moishe

    Moishe Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    What is the big picture? Your opinion or the reality of cycling in the mainstream of American sports? You chose to dismiss the endorsements from Trek (a bike company) which for a cyclist of any status is still a big endorsement yet you chose not to touch the fact that he is endorsed by Nike which endorses how many other cyclists? As a cyclist he has received more (monetarily) from his cycling success than any other rider to date. You can dispute that but I doubt you'll be able to prove it.

    Also factually you are wrong in your contention that he was a survivor turned champion. He won a national championship, world championship, Fleche Wallone and the San Sebastian before he was stricken with cancer. You can also factor in his triathlon accomplishments if you want. In truth he was a champion just not yet the king of Le Tour.

    When was the last time a reputable (I use the term loosely) organization came at him with more allegations of doping? According to the UCI they do not have to prove beyond a shadow of any doubt that a cyclist doped, all they have to prove is a high probability to where the rider has to prove inconclusively that he didn't dope. To me that is a very flawed system and the fact that the burden to prove a rider doped is very minimal and they still didn't catch him doping says something does it not? Below is a link to the UCI website which contains a link to the rule book, boring read but it shows how little they really have to do to prove doping. Also can you provide some examples of his arrogance aside from his pulling out a comb when crossing the line when he won the world championship? Having ridden with him on a few occasions as far back as the Richardson Bike Mart days, I challenge anyone that claims the man is arrogant without having actually met the guy.

    So what exactly does that article prove? Absolutely nothing conclusive is determined either way especially when it comes to proving whether or not Armstrong doped. All I really see here are sour grapes from an Aussie scientist whose side in a law suit lost to the scientist that worked on Armstrong's team.

    As far as the questions surrounding "cycling efficiency", anyone that can questions weight to power ratio and not think being lighter on a bike is not a benefit likely has never raced or spent significant time logging miles on a bike. As far as the questions about muscle efficiency and lactic threshold, to conclude that a cyclist cannot make improvements in that particular area is like saying a technical rock climber must also be doping because there is no way anyone can climb beyond the pump. Different muscle group but same scenario. Do all rock climbers dope now? The article was an interesting read but does nothing to prove Armstrong doped or did not dope and as stated earlier is nothing more than a pissing contest between two scientists.
  23. prowazekii

    prowazekii Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    Now Landis is looking to return for '09. This really make for some intense doping debates during the next Tours.


  24. prowazekii

    prowazekii Member

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    Re: Armstrong is reportedly set to return to competitive cycling in 2009.

    The first race is set. Armstrong will begin his comeback at the Tour Down Under in January.

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/26862681/
  25. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

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