The Boss is not back. Le Tour de Goodbye begins.

Armstrong: The road not taken.

I drove under this tour graphitti today on the way to Morzine. Optimism is a beautiful thing. But after three crashes, one of them a serious hip shot, Armstrong was done and done. Podium gone and riding his bike to the next stage: the tour de goodbye.

I hope Lance shifts gears and goes out the way he should and the way he likes — in first place. First in the hearts of so many cycling fans and anyone who was inspired by all his accomplishments and great moments in an amazing run of seven victories.

His longtime coach Chris Carmichael called it a “turning point.” Yes, it’s a change of direction and with all the bad news and allegations Armstrong has endured of late, a turning point might be the best thing.

Here’s to Mr. Armstrong basking in the glory of a long joyride thru France. The pace will be a bit slower but he’ll have a chance to listen to a different kind of cheers. A joyous and heartfelt goodbye. Soak it all up, Mellow Johnny.

(Note: to see all my photos from the tour click the FLickr  gallery at the bottom or click here.)

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  • Ryan Amadeo

    on the way to col du tourmalet, to watch tour de goodbye. r u there? looking for another north american fanatic to hang with on the mountain!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Ryan, I will be there along with a trillion other people. I'm guessing it will be tough to hook up. It should be insanity so enjoy the show. Matt

  • Aidan

    This post makes me smile…

    “…a joyous and heartfelt goodbye…”

    - the guy is being investigated by Federal Agencies for goodness sake, and there’s a strong possibility that he’s been lying for years to his self-sought constituency of cancer sufferers, cyclig fans, and most everyone else.

    You are clearly a big fan of the man, fair enough – me, I could never see him at a bike race again in my life, and it would be too soon.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Aidan, If you've read this blog for any length of time you know I've said critical things about Armstrong and also made fun of him mnay times. But what we're talking about was the day his carerr and tour hopes ended for sure. That's a time to step back and realize what he's done in and for the sport. Like him or not — and most fans do, if only for his cancer fundraising — he's had a huge impact on the sport. And that's what I realzed when he had the bay day. Thanks for writing in. Matt

      • Aidan

        Hmmm, I’d strongly argue your statement that “most fans do [like him]“…

        It’s more likely to be the case that “most people who don’t really deeply understand cycling – particularly fellow Americans – like him”.

        Indeed, pretty much all the people I know who understand pro cycling, who have and still do work on the ProTour circuit, and who are or have been pro cyclists themselves, do not like him, and were very disappointed to see him return. They do not like him both as a man (the morals he exhibits, the values he holds, and the manner in which he conducts himself) and especially what he has done to propogate and accelerate the doping arms-race that has changed cycling over the last 10-13 years. That’s quite separate from realising that he is a huge cash-cow: the interest he brings to the sport worldwide benefits many people and lots of companies, mostly in a financial way of course.

        The way the man uses his Cancer Charity as a shield (“to attack me means you are attacking those with cancer”), and as I mentioned before, the way he has [many believe] lied to cancer sufferers throughout, is inexcuseable and shameful.

        Now that several government and legislative agencies are investigating matters, I hope the truth will be known publicly, and I imagine following this, people will see his “legacy” in cycling differently to how they do now.

  • Le Tour Babe

    Lucky you to be at a historic Tour de France!

  • Rabid Fan

    Bill Strickland over at Bicycling Magazine is competing with you over honors for most satiric cycling journalist. I had to go back and reread the byline because I could not believe it was not you!

    http://bicycling.com/tour-de-france/expert-analysis/new-goal-lance