Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond are once again locked in furious battle. This time, it’s not about doping or deceit or intimidation but rather, who can change a flat tire faster.
A few weeks ago, in an Outside Magazine How-To video, Armstrong, the former winner of seven Tour de France titles, clocked a time of 1:37 seconds for changing a flat.
However that record only held up for a short time as Lemond rushed out his own flat-fixing How-To video, recording a time of 1:35, a full 2 seconds faster than Armstrong.
“I’m the only American to win the Tour de France and I’m clearly the better bike mechanic, too,” said a jubilant Lemond while standing outside the NYC Velo store where he fixed the flat. “Even if Armstrong doped, he couldn’t fix a flat faster than me.”
However, Lemond’s time is already in heated dispute and the Armstrong camp was quick to claim their man the winner. That includes the disgraced champion himself.
“Look, anybody with a stopwatch can time these two videos and see that not only am I faster, but Lemond actually cheated,” said Armstrong. “He probably cheated to win his Tour titles, too.”
Armstrong made pointed reference to Lemond refusing to re-inflate the tire with a standard floor pump — as Armstrong himself had done — instead opting for the visual trickery of inflating the tube by blowing into it with his mouth.
“Oh yeah, nice joke on his VO2 max, but that’s cheating right there, that’s how he picked up the time,” said Armstrong, throwing his vintage Coors cycling cap to the floor in disgust. “Lemond is desperate and will do anything to beat me. Really, he’s worse than Landis and I don’t say that lightly.”
However, Lemond quickly countered the Texan’s view of events. “Did I skip the floor pump? Yeah, sure, but that’s not an unfair advantage,” said Lemond. “And note how I stopped in the middle to have a conversation with the guy who owned the bike. That lost me valuable time but I’m happy to do it because I care about other people. With Lance, it’s all about Lance.”
According to a source close to Armstrong, the former champ is already planning a re-shoot of his How-To video on fixing a flat tire with the goal of cutting his time by over 30 to 45 seconds. “Hey, I can go way faster — I just slowed it down so people could see what I was doing — it’s a demonstration, right?” said an irritated Armstrong. “I will crush his mark this time around and not even Travis Tygart will take that win away from me.”
For Lemond it’s just another sign of the intimidation tactics that Armstrong has used against him in the past. “You see what he’s doing? He just can’t let himself be beaten by a 52 year old man. Now he’s threatening me and forcing me to cut my time,” said Lemond. “Well, two can play this game. You know what — I already called Betsy Andreu and she’s going to do her own fix-a-flat video and beat Lance’s time and I’ll bet David Walsh is pretty fast with a flat, too.”
Stay tuned. The acrimony between Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond continues unabated and this won’t be the last how-to-fix-a-flat video we’ll see.