Sunday, July 18, 2010

Le Tour

Alright, so here's my annual tour post containing a few random thoughts. While watching Lance get dropped yesterday morning at the bottom of the first significant climb, I got to thinking. Is Lance really that slow? I mean, can it be that the 7-time champ can't even keep up with the leaders, even before they've really start racing? Doubtful. My guess is that he's saving his legs for for a stage win. And why not? He deserves to go out in a blaze of glory, right?

Bull crap.

If he goes for a stage win, I'm pretty pissed if I'm Levi. How many times have Lance's teammates (including Levi) turned themselves inside out for, gotten water for, doped for (hopefully not Levi), etc. for Lance. Lance finally has the chance to return the favor and what does he do? Knowing that he stands no chance of a stage win on a mountain-top finish, he soft-pedals up Port de Pailheres so he can save himself for his 26th career stage win. At least that's what it looked like to me.

Lance has obviously been taking some heat lately. Hating Lance is not even counter-culture anymore - it's mainstream. For me, there's one thing he can do at this point to salvage any shred of dignity he has left. I want to see him lead Levi over every climb. I want to see him get water for Levi. I want to see him give Levi his bike when Levi punctures (alright, so Levi probably couldn't reach the pedals, but you know what I mean). I want to hear Levi thank Lance for getting him on the podium (and considering that Levi can put 2-3 minutes on just about everyone above him in the GC during the TT, I don't see this as being a huge stretch... especially if he can get some help). What I'd really like is to see for Lance to "pull a Jens Voigt" and pedal so hard up the Tourmalet on stage 17 that he tastes blood, and when he finally has to pull off to let Levi go, it's all he can do to not just fall off his Trek, curl up in a ball and cry. I'd especially like to see that.

If he does that, I may actually look back on Lance with some respect.

But more likely, he'll burn all of his matches trying for that stage win and confirm himself as the world's biggest megalomaniac (as if anyone needed confirmation of that). In which case, I can see Levi finally snapping. Doing something crazy like filling some medical bags with dark red Kool-Aid, writing "Mellow Johnny" on them, snapping a few pictures, and sending the evidence to the feds. Like how Milton from Office Space burned down the building after he wasn't allowed to listen to his music at a reasonable level and had his stapler confiscated. Poor Levi. No respect. It would be tough to blame him for burning down the building.

Or who knows, maybe Lance really is that slow. I think we'll find out for sure either tomorrow or Tuesday. In the meantime, we may as well enjoy the best tour I've seen in a while. Can I get an Amen?


South County Ciclista said...

I don't think it matters who leads Levi up a climb. He has shown in years past that he has no explosive power. Even this year he has mentioned it in interviews and he just can't hang on. I once thought he and Cadel were the same on killer instinct, but Cadel has come a long way and seems to "want" it more. Unless it is a race the the TOC from a couple years ago where one time trial and a small hill decide the whole race, he can't do it. But you never know what can happen, hey a chain fell off today. Who would have predicted that would change the yellow today?

Aaron said...

You may be right about Levi not having the power. But don't forget that he's only 3:25 off of the podium, and that's with minimal help from his team. He can make most of that up on the TT. And like you said, you never know what might happen - there are some huge stages left, and I'm guessing that at least 1 or 2 in the top 6 end up having a bad day (it might be Levi). He's finished on the podium in the past, so he's no slouch. I guess I just like Levi because he seems human.

Grizzly Adam said...

Team RS is a mess. I'm reminded of the Landis interview where he was so outraged that he could not get a decent bike to ride while on USPS, while Lance had a jet.

Levi must be looking around at everyone each night at the hotel just saying "WTF?" Meanwhile Lance and JB are scheming for some meaningless stage win that I don't think Lance has the legs to pull off anyway.

But yeah, Levi has no killer instinct in him. I thought he might show a little today when he tried to go with Schleck (after the chain drop) and he got rocketed off the back in about 10 meters. He's a steady-eddy type rider. The TT is his best chance at the podium. But I'd still love to see RS lead him up a big climb and try and turn the screws on AC and AS.

Oh, and "Amen!"

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Amen, praise the lord, sweet hallelujah. Lance and Horner were pathetic today in their breakaway attempt. Maybe, just maybe, now that they've had they're fun, they'll get down to the business of helping Levi. Who am I kidding?