Lance, the Pick n’ Pay isn’t the ProTour. Come back to Europe, ASAP.

Argg on Cape Argus?

Maybe the Cape Argus Pick ‘n’ Pay is the ideal Tour de France build-up and we just don’t understand that.

Alberto Contador battles against tour contenders like Alejandro Valerde and Samuel Sanchez in the grueling Paris-Nice stage race. Cadel Evans takes on Vincenzo Nibali, Robert Gesink and Mihael Rodgers in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Meanwhile Lance Armstrong is going head to head with … uhh, Christoff van Heerden? He’s seeing how he matches up against Burry Stander. He’s checking out his major competition for the Tour de France, guys like Bjorn Glasner and Johan Rabie.

Okay, Mr. Armstrong is doing some major funding raising down in South Africa. He had our immense respect and we applaud his efforts. What other pro riders are collecting money for anyone but themselves?

But Lance, baby, please return to Europe immediately and get yourself some more ProTour races. No Astana, Saxo Bank or Caisse d’Epargne in Cape Argus. Going against fit tourists and a few local pros is just not what Johan Bruyneel has in mind.

It’s nowhere near time for elevated monk status, that fiendish level of training intensity and focus you hit in late June. You can still have a beer or two in March. But this PR and Fund Raise gig in Cape Town isn’t a prime event on anybody’s race calendar.

But let’s get back to the task at hand: Destruction on skinny Spanish guy with the finger pistol. The Cape Argus Pick ‘n’ Pay is just ain’t going to cut the mustard. Alberto COntador is already looking pretty strong and the Pick ‘n’ Pay is not the way to catch up.

The Radio Shack bus is waiting for you, engine running.

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  • Hi Matt,

    I think you are missing the point here. We all know that in a head to head encounter, Contador will win 99 times out of a hundred (he might forget to eat again, or make some other rare mistake). Lance even knows this. No amount of training and racing on the ProTour is going to change that.

    Just like cyclists from other countries, South African's view the Tour de France as the Mecca of cycling, a pilgrimage that must be undertaken at least once. Lance knows this, and by spending a week here in South Africa doing the publicity rounds he is looking for that little something extra come the Tour. It might be stray musette that snags Contador's handlebars, or a slow wheel change by the South African mechanic in the neutral Mavic vehicle, or an interview from a local journalist at an ungodly hour the night before the decisive time trial.

    Don't under estimate Lance – this is all part of the plan.

    That, and the fact that for years we have been calling the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour (aka The Argus) the Fun Ride World Champs. No matter what level of cyclist you are, if you haven't done the Argus you aren't a real cyclist in the eyes of the public. You are judged on your Argus time alone.

    We know Lance can't resist a challenge, and I suspect he wanted to return to the ProTour peloton with a title that would psychologically scare the living daylights out of Contador. Imagine – "Lance Armstrong – Fun Ride World Champion". Unfortunately, he had to settle for ninth. Maybe next year.

    Dane Walsh

    • Dane, from one Walsh to another, yes, you figured out Lance's plan and I'm embarassed to say I missed the Master's lastest brilliant chess move. Of course. Fun Ride World Champion. ALberto has to be wondering what that means.