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An end of an era, is when someone just stops trying. When someone stops having passion. If someone wins, that is great! If they stop trying, that is defeat.

Lance had a three splashes of nastiness. He has recovered from so much this year and the years past.
This time, he fell of his bike going top speed and expected to catch the peloton after two more crashes. It could happen to anyone at anytime. It happens. I think it will be an exciting tour.

However, I agree that I felt so much compassion when I saw him explain his crashes. He was so disappointed. In life though, we are all called to the master of humility. Cancer was his first and today was one of his many other times. It is just how life goes sometimes.

Carlos Mendoza

I also felt sorry for the Brash Texan yesterday. As I watched him come across the line, my lovely wife who know nothing about cycling asked me, "why didn't he just retire when he was on top?". I had no answer for her. Was it ego? Did he really think he could beat the youngsters who are leading the tour now? I am a middle aged triathlete and I to keep asking myself when I will hang up the shoes. As men we love the challenge, for Lance it was perhaps the challenge and also more money as sponsors love him on their team. I will be very interested to see what his character reveals when he is not on top as he has always been. Will he show some leadership and help his teammates, or will take his toys and go home since he cant win. A question I posed to my daughters as they replayed the highlights last night. I was trying to teach them a lesson about being a good teammate. I am sad I won't be watching Lance race anymore, I thoroughly enjoyed watching him win.


Armstrong's Armor. You're right, Joe, in calling out Lance's armor. Brad Kearns pointed out in his book how Lance only lets those into his world who will help him in some way. His crossed arms, indifference to you, and then a shun are characteristics he has exhibited throughout his professional career. Will they hurt him? Probably not, as his world is as big as his own head. Either Lance has decided who he must respond to when everyone wants a piece of him, or he's simply aloof. Can't tell. I think he's got a chip on his shoulder. It's the friendly, approachable sports legends we look to as models and tell stories about long after their careers are over. It isn't always what one has accomplished, but how one conducts onesself that counts. "Master of humility" in that last post, a good one to remember. Sad end, yes, but he'll be fine. Criminy, with all that money, who wouldn't?

Big Mikey

To think the guy made it through 8 TdF without any significant mishaps is amazing, and increases the respect due the guy and his teams during those years.

But part of me thinks that mishaps sometimes happen because of inattentiveness and positioning, both of which are indicators of fitness/level. In the end, it all transpired to derail him. Truly a sad sight.


From your description Lance seems to be an arrogant person. It does appear so when I see him on TV.


Stage 8 made for uncomfortable viewing for this Lance fan. Nice piece here Joe, thank you.


Judging from your post, it sounds like Lance wasn't very nice to you; therefore, I don't understand why you took such an avid interest in his successes, or why you now feel sympathy for him. He is clearly past his time for being a GC contender at the Tour; his successes are under suspicion of cheating; and his personality seems selfish, cold, calculating, and egotistical.


Great cyclis, super athlete,good for the sport and cancer awareness but I for one am glad it's time for him to move on.
I respect his athleticism but knew I didn't like the guy (the person) after I read his book many years ago.

I am with Carlos' wife...he should have bowed out on top.

Now, to see someone hand him his a** at Ironman. Should be interesting-I am sure the media will love it.




It isn't obvious to me that Lance is "clearly past his time for being a GC contender at the Tour." He was on the podium at last year's Tour, and he managed to place 3rd in the Tour of Luxembourg and 2nd in the Tour of Switzerland this year. He's had a pretty rough go of it this time round and things haven't panned out. Any rider that had to deal with what he has had to so far would be in no better position. Sad to have to continue to hear about the "suspicion of cheating" since all the years of testing, and there have been many, have failed to produce anything other than accusations. Armstrong might be calculating and egotistical, but he is one hell of a cyclist, the likes of which come along very very rarely. Personalities are distractions, I'm here for the cycling.

Dave in Fresno

I like Lance more since he has come out of retirement. I think he is more selfless now, giving back to his team and the sport.

It's somehow refreshing to see some vulnerability in the Ice Man. He was always protected before, everything always went his way. This tour its nice to see him dealing with bad luck, and fighting back.

Michael H.

To follow up on some points in the comments, Lance said he came back because it was a better way to promote his Live Strong campaign. He is certainly getting much more publicity over the last 2 years than he was in 2007-2008 (even with the NYC Marathons).

This may be the end of Lance's TdF career but he will still race some shorter road cycling races in the future. And he has said several times that he is coming back to triathlon. He has mentioned doing some 70.3 races next year and maybe Kona in 2012. (I can't imagine that WTC would do anything other than welcome him to the championship. He would bring a ton of publicity and advertising dollars to the event.)

As for the crashes, maybe he doesn't have quite as sharp reflexes as he used to. The obstacles that he used to avoid are now taking him down. Another problem was his positioning. On one of the climbs, he was riding back with some of the more inexperienced competitors. The Euskatel rider who got the bottle bag caught up in his wheel caused Lance to jump off of his bike, and then another guy landed on his bike. If Lance had been in the group with the GC contenders, he probably wouldn't have been in that situation.

Lance comes across as pretty intense even in his Radio Shack commercials. They aren't trying to soften his image. I guess you do have to be incredibly driven to accomplish what he has, on the roads and trails (Leadville 100), and with his charity work.

He'll continue to be active in the world of elite sports, just not at the Tour de France. Although after the disappointments of this year, could he change his mind and come back for one last shot in 2011?

Paul F

G'day Joe,

Any chance of writing something up on Chrissie Wellingtons performance at IM Roth (8:19), standard deviation of over 6. Highest ever recorded I believe


Dan B

Agree with Paul F. An article on Chrissie would be fantastic.

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