Monday, July 26, 2004


So maybe I didn't win the Tour de France over the weekend like Lance Armstrong did. But, getting back in the saddle was a start. Okay, I'm not coming back from testicular cancer. IBS is, nevertheless, debilitating.

The press now needs to know if Armstrong is the greatest ever cyclist and where he fits in the Pantheon of American athletes. Interesting to hear a writer from the Dallas Morning News - Lance's local paper, I guess - volunteer that Armstrong was probably not the greatest cyclist ever. Of course, he must now be considered the King of the Tour. Six wins in a row has never been achieved before. The Texan can also boss the peloton like Hinault, Mercyx or Coppi.

But, Armstrong does not compare to Eddie "the Cannibal" Mercyx. Unlike the American, Mercyx rode not only the Tour but regularly rode the Giro, the Vuelta, one day classics and the World Championship. And, he won events consistently. Armstrong has made a career decision to concentrate on the greatest race of all. Who knows what he might have done if he raced week-in week-out as did Mercyx.

It's not all together to do with anti-American backlash, but Armstrong has never won over the French public. His single-minded desire is not unique amongst great champions. It seems he'll never join the ranks of Anquetil, Coppi, Hinault or even Greg Lemond as a Tour favorite.

Oh, and even though Hood said this morning that Armstrong's win was huge in the US, nothing appeared on the News's Sports front page when I visited it this evening.

:: Posted by pete @ 20:32