Mike Kueber's Blog

July 26, 2010

Thanks for the memories, Lance

Filed under: Sports — Mike Kueber @ 3:10 pm
Tags: , , ,

In this morning’s paper, the Associated Press reported that Lance Armstrong’s career came to an ignominious end yesterday.  That sounded a bit harsh, but first I needed to confirm what “ignominious” meant – humiliating, shameful, embarrassing, disgraceful.  I think it is disgraceful for the Associated Press’s Jamey Keaton to mischaracterize Lance Armstrong’s performance in the 2010 Tour de France. 

What did Lance do to deserve Keaton’s harsh assessment?  True, Lance finished in the 23rd position out of 190 riders, and this was a significant drop from his 3rd position the previous year.  But you can’t blame a guy for trying.  Last year’s 3rd-place finish was his first back after a three-year retirement, and it was not unreasonable for Lance to hope there might be some room for improvement this year before age started catching up with him.  In fact, that hope seemed justified when Lance took 4th place in the prologue while defeating last year’s time-trial champion, Alberto Contador, and last year’s runner-up, Andy Schleck.

But I would argue that bad luck caught up with Lance shortly before age did.  In the cobblestone 3rd stage, Lance suffered a flat tire at exactly the wrong time and lost two minutes to the leaders, which completely erased his great prologue result.  Then a few days later, in the eighth stage, Lance was involved in three crashes and lost twelve more minutes to the leaders.  Immediately after that stage, Lance calmly and dispassionately concluded that, “This Tour is finished for me.”

From that point on, Lance’s goals shifted to helping his team win the overall championship of the Tour, which they did, and for him to personally win a stage, which he gallantly, unsuccessfully attempted in Stage 16.

Yesterday, before the final, ceremonial stage, Lance said, “I wish I were younger, faster.  But there are lots of memories, too many memories, and a lot more good ones than bad ones.”  I agree.   Thanks for the memories, Lance.

2 Comments »

  1. Lance is the guy I love to hate. I was hoping he would show the world that he could pull off #8 but when its your time, then its your time.

    Comment by Barbie — July 26, 2010 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  2. You don’t have to tell me about being past one’s prime.

    Comment by Mike Kueber — July 26, 2010 @ 10:17 pm | Reply


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