We Really Like Them Apples
A Tour de France story from Luz-Ardiden.
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We were still speculating and quietly preparing ourselves for the inevitable monumental news, the sea change was breaking and Ullrich was about to dethrone Armstrong for the first time in five years. Then another roar and the yellow jersey came into view far below us. Armstrong was flying. He had regrouped after Tyler Hamilton had requested all to wait for his old boss. Ullrich, remembering the reverse three years earlier on the Persuade, had been gracious and held up. Seconds after they were all bunched, Lance seemed to be on fire. He was now pulling away from all the orange, green and red colors and putting some accustomed distance between himself and the mortals. We saw him darting through the crowd at over 30km per hour and could see the gap widening. In a flash he was on us and around our switchback turning at an incredible angle and peering ahead with a ferocity that was otherworldly. I checked the time and watched him motor up around the next bend and into the clouds. I turned from the delirious religious experience and glanced at my watch, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, and then the archangel from
My friend and super Lance fan, Mike Malone ran down the slope and grabbed me in big bear hug. He could not quit grinning. Peter Thomson kept smiling and said it wasn?t over, Jan had taken back time at the very top and although a great day of bike racing had numbed us, the 2003 Tour de France was not over. After more banter we mounted our bikes for the long twisting descent back to