C'est Cool

News & Results

09/21/2005| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen

C'est Cool

There wasn?t an overabundance of drama at the 2005 Tour de France; so here it comes.

Toward the end of the afternoon, sure enough, CSC had a four second lead over T-Mobile.   All the rest of the teams were finished and well back in the standings, when the Discovery team came through.   Each of the fifteen plus teams we watched was in the classic echelon with riders pulling at the point for just a matter of seconds.   But when the Discovery team appeared Lance was in front and stayed there for the ten seconds we could see the team.   It was not a standard pace line but a train being pulled for what seemed like an eternity.   The speed was close to 60 kilometers an hour and made a sound also like a train. We later found out from friends who had gone up-course to see the race come out of
and start up the incline that Lance was pulling solo even then.   This meant that he was doing an unimaginable pull of some minutes, not seconds.   The strength and focus it takes to do such a feat is beyond comprehension but managed to pull the Discovery Team into the lead by stage end at
.  It was as if Lance knew exactly what it took to give his mates a break and pull them back from a small deficit and into the lead that could be held for the last third of the race.  



So, I am left with a vast collage of a career and a race - four years of memories of Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France.  In spots it is hazy and confusing.  However, the picture has some very clear sections and it is those recent, 2005 vivid vignettes and images that I hold onto now and forever.   I can add them to the memory I have of Lance on the Tourmalet yelling at Roberto Heras to slow down in 2002, to the memory of Lance getting up off the pavement and roaring up Luz Ardiden in 2003 and to Lance looking right at us after he knocked the field out on Alpe d?Huez in 2004.   I do not really feel na?ve at all.   I feel I have been witness to an amazing career- far too vast and extensive to be stained by frozen B samples from the last century.


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