07.24.05

How To Measure Lance’s Achievments?

Posted in cycling at 12:40 pm by

As you’re probably well aware, Austin’s own Lance Armstrong claimed his 7th consecutive Tour de France title earlier this morning, following the mostly ceremonial 21st stage in Paris.

Numerous yack radio pinheads — from those regularly employed to the barely-hanging-on Scott Ferrell (whom, while manning the graveyard shift on Fox last week, denounced Armstrong as “a femme”) have diminished Armstrong’s accomplishments. While paying lip service to the notion that competitive cycling requires greater fitness than say, talking about the NFL for 3 hours, the ignorant-and proud-of-it crew are quick to remind us that Lance is “only riding a bike”.

It’s a fuck of a lot harder than it looks — and it looks pretty hard from here. I read an article a few years ago in which Armstrong attended a Stone Temple Pilots concert and ate exactly three (3) Doritos from the backstage spread. No more, no less. I don’t know how many of you have the discipline to limit yourself to exactly 3 Doritos (nor can I vouch for Armstrong having done so without the aid of illegal substances), but I suspect Mike Francesca can’t make such a claim.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on cycling, but from the layperson’s perspective, I’m blown away by the sort of things Armstrong has to contend with. Those shorts. Having to make sure all the syringes are properly disposed of. Riding through the dangerous mountains while assholes are yelling “Your old lady did it with Clapton!” inches from your face.

And with all of that in mind, rather than equate Lance’s record run with the more mundane sporting milestones, I would rank his 7 Tour victories atop the following moments in Sports History.

1) Bobby Bonilla Threatens To Show Bob Klapisch The Bronx.

OK, not an athletic endeavor, per se, but it did put “I’ll show you the Bronx” into the popular lexicon.

2) Kobayashi Wins 5 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Titles

I think you could make a case for Kobayashi being the Lance Of Competitive Eating. They’ve both won a signature event on foreign soil, been subjected to scurrilous doping allegations, and each have a training regiment that would kill a normal human.

3) Bill Maher Refrains From Masturbating For 3 Weeks.

Though I have no evidence this ever happened — can you prove Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games? I mean, were you there? — certainly we can all agree this mythic achivement is right up there with winning the Tour de France.

To summarize, while I’m encouraged at the way the American mainstream has embraced Lance Armstrong, the tendency to qualify his greatness says a lot about our lack of sophistication, and really needs to stop NOW. I’m doing my small part, and I hope you will as well.

2 Responses to “How To Measure Lance’s Achievments?”

  1. mts says:

    i hate it when people downplay bicycling as a sport and the guilty parties are usually some overweight fucktard who drives an SUV to the corner for a frappucino.

    while my bicycling skills are nowhere [nowhere!!] near comparable to armstrong’s, i will say that my ride up the last hill before home [be it from work or elsewhere] is one of the hardest things i do everyday day. im just riding an old pink 3 speed cruiser, so i have nothing but respect for real bicyclists.

    [strangely enough, these are the same folk who claim figure skating is not a real sport. ps: if you need a guest blogger for figure skating analysis, look no further. ive been waiting for the day when i can unleash my "'moves in the field' has ruined the sport" rant. there may be a day when i can fill a niche in the CSTB brand!]

  2. CSTB says:

    Maria,

    the international courts and Katerina Witt’s lawyers tell me that I am not allowed to cover figure skating, so by all means, go right ahead. Your contributions are always welcome.

    For the record, a Chevrolet Suburban can hardly be called an SUV.

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