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Armstrong wins the Tour

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
... and what a Tour it was. As much as I would have liked to see Ullrich win, I have to admit that he was the better rider. Still, I'm a bit reluctant to accept Armstrong as the same kind of super-cyclists as the other five-time-winners (Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain) were. I guess these things take time.

In any case, for the off-chance that mr. Lance Armstrong is an AI lurker: Congratulations for a job well done.
post #2 of 57
der Kopf:

Quote:
Still, I'm a bit reluctant to accept Armstrong as the same kind of super-cyclists as the other five-time-winners (Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain) were. I guess these things take time.

It must be difficult to ackonwledge that one of the greatest ever trains in Austin, Texas.

So much elitism and xenophobia to fight... gah it must be hell for you.
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post #3 of 57
Its so fun that someone absolutly wants this to be a "Us vs. Europe" competition. I am pretty sure that the french most of all wanted one from their own country to win but since that is imposible I am sure an american is preffered over someone from Germany.

Armstrong is not Texas or US. He is Armstrong. And this years Armstrong is a more humble bike rider than previous years and simply liked more. Add to that that the one everybody felt with and liked, Hamilton, is actually ALSO an american and even a very good friend of Armstrongs.
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post #4 of 57
We already have a thread on this

Armstrong is very Texas. Maybe someone not from the US can't tell but the things he says marks him as being from Texas.
post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
It must be difficult to ackonwledge that one of the greatest ever trains in Austin, Texas.

So much elitism and xenophobia to fight... gah it must be hell for you.

Oh c'mon, groverat, I think that is one below the belt. Unfair and incorrect. This is not about Armstrong being American, it is about him not being the superchamp I think some of the others were (especially Merckx, the canibal). If you look at Merckx' palmares, you'll see that he won EVERYTHING. Armstrong, a bit like Indurain (IMO) is probably too much of the calculated, exclusive cyclist, who has one goal in the cycling year, being bringing home the Tour, which he, as Indurain, does very well. I'm not saying that the changed sporting climate doesn't necessitate this, but what I do say is that I have a hard time equating him to some of the others in that pantheon he now belongs too.

(also, I believe Armstrong and his equipe, guided by the good Johan Bruyneel, have their training base in Spain).
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
Armstrong is very Texas. Maybe someone not from the US can't tell but the things he says marks him as being from Texas.

Yep, especially the interviews he gives after each stage, in French.
post #7 of 57
I'm sure if your not familiar with it you couldn't tell. Plus I'm sure Lance doesn't know how to translate his texas talk into frog speak. What does he say in french? "Uhhhhh Uhhhhhh There was a lot of Uhhhhhhh water on the floor Uhhhhhh and I was Uhhhhhhh going slow Uhhhhhh"?
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott

Armstrong is very Texas. Maybe someone not from the US can't tell but the things he says marks him as being from Texas.

This may be but then you agree its an US internal thing. But what Grover tried to see was a "Europe/France have a hard time accepting a Texan" angle thats not really there.
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post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
I'm sure if your not familiar with it you couldn't tell. Plus I'm sure Lance doesn't know how to translate his texas talk into frog speak. What does he say in french? "Uhhhhh Uhhhhhh There was a lot of Uhhhhhhh water on the floor Uhhhhhh and I was Uhhhhhhh going slow Uhhhhhh"?



Actually he is doing fine. Not the best grammar and yes he is sometimes looking for the words. But his french is probably better than mine.

Quote:
frog speak.

IS this your way of saying "Goddammit I WANT this to be a US vs. Europe thing "?
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post #10 of 57
The only way it could be a french vs usa thing other than fans who have nothing to do with it but watch it on tv, is if europe even mattered in all of this.
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post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by JRC
The only way it could be a french vs usa thing other than fans who have nothing to do with it but watch it on tv, is if europe even mattered in all of this.

What do you mean by this? Please explain, for I'm afraid I understand your statement in a wrong way.
post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
frog speak

So your trip to Paris wasn't a success, huh?

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott
What does he say in french?

Whatever any cyclist says right after a stage, huffing and puffing, dripping with sweat. Something about a near-fall, about missing the right démarrage, about being dehydrated or about the other being just a tad better, or about having woke up yourself, feeling you've got superlegs today, and deciding that you're gonna try something today. I thought you were familiar with cycling, Scott.
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by JRC
The only way it could be a french vs usa thing other than fans who have nothing to do with it but watch it on tv, is if europe even mattered in all of this.



Had to read it a coouple of times before I got the point.

Kopf: "...if europe even mattered in all of this.". Speaking about Tour de France. Get it
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post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
And this years Armstrong is a more humble bike rider than previous years and simply liked more.

You think? That's not the impression I get. I remember the first year he came back, and actually won the Tour. Everybody was awestruck at this hero, who overcame cancer and won the Tour de France, maybe one of the most demanding sporting events in the world. This year, however, hardly anybody, if not nobody mentioned his fight with cancer. Many people were close to pleased with how weak he appeared in the first time trials and in the first Pyrenee stage, and people were already crowning Ullrich, the new/refound king, who, breaks your heart to think, left his newborn and firstborn daughter to come win this Tour.

I have a feeling that people are fatigued with Armstrong, much as they were with Indurain in the end: here we go again. Good prologue, win one or both time trials (with a time advantage that makes your competitors feel like they can only compete for second place), and win a mountain stage if you feel you've got it in you. Again, this is probably the best way to win the Tour, but it does get a bit boring. Especially if the competition seems to be miles away (which is not Armstrong's fault, mind you). Not for naught has this Tour been dubbed the most exciting in 13 years (with, of course, a reference to the historice Fignon-LeMond clash of titans, won by the latter American with only 7 seconds).

And Armstrong, through all this, has definitely deserved his victories, and I have been a fierce supporter of the man (hey, he retaught us the value of smaller speeds - faster peddling-, he oftentimes crushed the competition). Yet, I think that this year, Armstrong has probably been less favored by the general audience, than any of the previous years.
post #15 of 57
The way Ulrich waited for Lance, just as Lance waited for Ulrich last year, was incredible. I can't think of any other times that anyone showed such admirable sportsmanship, in bicycling or any other sport. What honorable people.
post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
The way Ulrich waited for Lance, just as Lance waited for Ulrich last year, was incredible. I can't think of any other times that anyone showed such admirable sportsmanship, in bicycling or any other sport. What honorable people.

Quite exactly, Placebo. It's about sports, about "may the best man win", but also "may the best man win in a fair fight".
post #17 of 57
Yes the feeling of "here we go again" IS present. But thats because we want it to be an interesting sporting event. But there is another game going on at the same time. The difference between Lnace a couple of years ago and now is how he express his view on the race.

Remember back when he and Pantani was head-to-head on a mountain stage and Pantani won? It was clear that Lance raced for the yellow jersey and Pantani for the stage. And its normal that in those situations they spilt the price: Lance got what he wanted and let Pantani get the stage as a thanks for the coorporation. BUT Lance did what you should NEVER do in such a situation. He said he gave the victory to Pantani. Besides being a lie (the right describtion would be he didn´t fight for the victory) it degraded Pantanis victory.

Today he is more humble to the situation. He had crisis and he talks about them. He acknowledges it when he has a difficult time and the other races are stronger than him. Its more true to the situation.
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post #18 of 57
When Armstrong came back from cancer he was treated like crap and loads of people suspected him (many still do) of taking supplements or using performance-enhancing drugs. He was the most tested guy on the Tour.

You may consider the "elitism and xenophobia" comment below-the-belt, but it's true. There is no reason to regard Armstrong as an inferior cyclist compared with the others and as an athlete/competitor he is quite possibly above them all, taking into account overcoming cancer.

It doesn't sit well with you because he's American, which I think is petty and childish.

If Dirk Nowitski wins MVP in the NBA sometime in the future I don't know how many Americans will be grousing about him being German, accusing him of cheating.
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post #19 of 57
Look Grover. To survive cancer and eeven participate in TdF was recognised as a triumph by everyone. Lance just had the unluck of returning just as the doping issue broke in TdF. Everybody and their mother was accused of having taken doping not just Lance. Riis still carries the less than flattering nick name mr. 60%. If you won as much as one stage in the tour it was automaticly considered a result of doping in the eye of the press. In other words yes Lance was accused of doping himself. Just like everyone else. ANd if he is the most tested rider its a cadeau to his winning statistics more than anything else.

If anyone considered him inferiour it was not as an athlete but because he didn´t live up to the unwritten rules and didn´t try to be friends with everyone (like Indurain always did) and did stupid things like the Pantani incident. But it has something to do with his personality (that has changed for the better the last two years).
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post #20 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
It doesn't sit well with you because he's American, which I think is petty and childish.

I consider that an insult.

The day Armstrong has won all of the spring classics (ranging from Milano-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Amstel Gold Race, and all in between and all after, all the way up to the World Championships annually in october, which he DID win), and has won one or more mass sprints in the Tour de France and other races, and has won the Giro d'Italia, and has won the Vuelta de España, that is the day I will accept him as Merckx' equal.
I truly resent you playing out the xenophobia card. Have you ever watched reporting in my and other European countries? Have you held sociological surveys of the general European opinion on Armstrong between 1993 and 2003?
post #21 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Everybody and their mother was accused of having taken doping not just Lance.

Evenso, he was the one top-cyclist that has been mentioned the LEAST with respect to doping. At least in my country, the euphoria that Armstrong inspired many of us with in his first few winning years, almost made it physically dangerous for anyone to claim superman Armstrong was a doper.
post #22 of 57
Lance Amstrong is a great champion, with a good sportive spirit. I am happy that Lance will win the tdf 2003 and not Ulrich. Ulrich has been caught positive three years ago, at the contrary of Lance who was never controlled positive.

Amstrong is definitively a great cyclist and merit to enter in the hall of fame. You cannot compare cyclism today as the cyclism in the time of Merckx. In the time of Merckx they where fewer nations who where competiting : it was basically a mix of 15 countries, no there is about cyclist coming from 80 countries. The level has considerabily raise. It's not anymore physiologicaly possible to be competitive at all the competitions without cheating. you have to choice your prime goal, and le Tour de France is certainly the biggest of all in cyclism.
BTW is always difficult to compare biggest champions of differents eras. Let's say, Lance is the biggest of the last decade.

No for the lame poll, about the US vs Europe thing here. I just discovered, that he came from Texas, and really it doesnt care. Lance give some interview in french : its great and sympathic. Now, i am sure, that he will disapointed to see such a meaningless poll, here at AO. The US vs Europe have nothing to do with cyclism or Lance Amstrong.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
There is no reason to regard Armstrong as an inferior cyclist compared with the others and as an athlete/competitor he is quite possibly above them all, taking into account overcoming cancer.

That's just not true. Armstrong doesn't cycle year round. He trains for one race and wins it. Many better athletes will lose the TdF but race many other times throughout the year, winning many races. They are better overall cyclists.

If you want to say that he's one of the best at the TdF, you might have a case. If you claim he's the best overall cyclist you're just wrong.
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post #24 of 57
Methinks Groverat is just pushing your buttons.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
The way Ulrich waited for Lance, just as Lance waited for Ulrich last year, was incredible. I can't think of any other times that anyone showed such admirable sportsmanship, in bicycling or any other sport. What honorable people.

It wasn't last year, Ulrich missed last year's tour due to doping
post #26 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Methinks Groverat is just pushing your buttons.

I was thinking the same thing, but it's so hard to ignore a personal attack (and not just for me, apparently, seeing this exact action-reaction pattern is the essence of AppleOutsider).
post #27 of 57
I've forgotten again, which country is Eddie Merckx from der kopf?
post #28 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ColanderOfDeath
I've forgotten again, which country is Eddie Merckx from der kopf?



(though to be fair, it's not just my kind recognising him for the superchamp he was. I even remember Armstrong himself stating last year, after his win, and pondering a possible fifth, that he had problems considering himself an equal of Merckx).
post #29 of 57
Eddie Merckx is one of my heroes of cycling...
post #30 of 57
he didn't win yet
post #31 of 57
The last stage of the tour is more a ceremonial event. Nobody will be attacking the yellow jersey tomorrow...
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
It doesn't sit well with you because he's American, which I think is petty and childish.

Actually, it was because of Dr. Ferrari, who is European as far as I know.
post #33 of 57
Training properly for and winning the biggest is better than doping, winning a few smaller events and losing the biggest.
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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
Lance Amstrong is a great champion, with a good sportive spirit. I am happy that Lance will win the tdf 2003 and not Ulrich. Ulrich has been caught positive three years ago, at the contrary of Lance who was never controlled positive.

Amstrong is definitively a great cyclist and merit to enter in the hall of fame. You cannot compare cyclism today as the cyclism in the time of Merckx. In the time of Merckx they where fewer nations who where competiting : it was basically a mix of 15 countries, no there is about cyclist coming from 80 countries. The level has considerabily raise. It's not anymore physiologicaly possible to be competitive at all the competitions without cheating. you have to choice your prime goal, and le Tour de France is certainly the biggest of all in cyclism.
BTW is always difficult to compare biggest champions of differents eras. Let's say, Lance is the biggest of the last decade.

No for the lame poll, about the US vs Europe thing here. I just discovered, that he came from Texas, and really it doesnt care. Lance give some interview in french : its great and sympathic. Now, i am sure, that he will disapointed to see such a meaningless poll, here at AO. The US vs Europe have nothing to do with cyclism or Lance Amstrong.

Powerdoc has given a great reply above. Too many in the thread have taken a sour and immature path off the main topic of the thread. It matters not where a person is from. The whole US vs Europe thing is more than old and worn out.

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post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 
Being honest, I'd have to say that I'm not at all as horrified by doping as many other cycling enthusiasts are. It's pretty probable that organised doping took place in most/all teams prior to the "doping Tour" (of '97?). It's likely that doping continues to be the driving force behind the exploits of many cyclists. And to me, it doesn't mean anything, because I realise that you may put me chuckfull of doping, fuller than anyone has ever been before, and I still wouldn't be able to even finish last in one stage of the Tour. Of course it hurts a bit when a good cyclist gets caught, when he is exposed as a bit of a fraud, but in general, I don't have a particular hard-on for catching doping crooks. Even if all of the about 200 cyclists that participated in the Tour this year took doping, I would not care.

The conclusion being: I have never believed Armstrong to be a doper, and even if he were, it would hardly influence my view of him. (my reservations with him have been, I hope, explained fully above).
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by 123
Actually, it was because of Dr. Ferrari, who is European as far as I know.

Is Ferrari doctor for Armstrong?

Pretty stupid if you want to avoid any accusation about doping.
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post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Training properly for and winning the biggest is better than doping, winning a few smaller events and losing the biggest.

Is that how the world's best cyclists did it?
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post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
The way Ulrich waited for Lance, just as Lance waited for Ulrich last year, was incredible. I can't think of any other times that anyone showed such admirable sportsmanship, in bicycling or any other sport. What honorable people.

I agree. I was never too into cycling, never watched it, just read a few stories here and there.

Today I watched the hour highlight show on CBS. And it just struck me.

What an amazing sporting event and what amazingly honorable and respectful athletes.

I think I'm hooked
post #39 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
I agree. I was never too into cycling, never watched it, just read a few stories here and there.

Today I watched the hour highlight show on CBS. And it just struck me.

What an amazing sporting event and what amazingly honorable and respectful athletes.

I think I'm hooked

I never knew sports till I got sucked into cycling by one of Indurain's Tours. It's still about the only sport I truly enjoy following.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally posted by der Kopf
I never knew sports till I got sucked into cycling by one of Indurain's Tours. It's still about the only sport I truly enjoy following.

Me too. That and snooker and the first 250 meter of F1
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