The Lance & Landis show. Catching up with the best show ever!

Armstrong: caught between Rock and Ball?

That month long distraction called the Tour de France is thankfully over.

Now we can get back to the most thrilling and brilliant show in cycling Hollywood. The Lance & Landis show. The pilot was simply beyond expectation and the first few shows redefined the boundaries of episodic dope story telling.

Now that Alberto Contador has another yellow jersey we can return to the action. When we last left our two former pals and now bitter enemies, the plot was thickening faster than water near a BP oil pipe. BALCO houndog investigator Jeff Novizky was on the case along with Assistant US attorney Doug Miller. These aren’t the kind of guys that take six months, gobs of tax payer money and produce nothing. These are two strong characters with their own flaws and agendas and they will dig until they find gold.

In a stroke of master drama, show producers brought in old Armstrong nemesis Greg Lemond and partnered him up with Landis. Now they’re sharing lawyers and planning strategy. Throwing everything into the mix, the people behind Lance and Landis also gave a recurring role to blustery and ineffectual UCI president Patrick “hot air” McQuaid. The intriguing Armstrong “gift/bribe” angle keeps getting more fascinating and we’re up to two “donations.” Dynamic subplots are what separate formulaic crap from pure genius.

Okay, enough catch up. Let’s dive into the new developments because they have us so excited we’re on the edge of our San Marco seat. We’ve got serious witnesses with actual credibility about to go under oath. The potential revelations and bombshells are making our skin tingle. This is Must-See Con-Tro-Ver-See.

Before we had two comedic but in legal terms inconsequential witnesses, former riders David Clinger and Chad Gerlach. Great bit characters, fantastic walk-ons but nothing for Armstrong to fear. Clinger, the man with the full but half disappeared Maori face tattoo has his own demons. Chad Gerlach hit the streets so hard he was working as a male prostitute according to a local sportswriter familiar with his story.

They were a nice arm-up act but now we’ve got Big George Hincapie and Tyler Hamilton swearing to tell the truth and nothing but. Lovable George rode with Armstrong for all his seven victories. In America’s eyes, he’s the stars and stripes champion and a man of integrity.

If Hincapie has something to say it’s going to carry several tons of weight. Again, chapeau to the Lance & Landis creative team. This is a classic moral dilemma for Hincapie — stay true and loyal to Lance the Legend or spill ugly beans.

The same goes for Tyler Hamilton, another top rider in his day, who was very familiar with US Postal operations. And ladies and gents, you don’t lie to the Feds. Operation Puerto was amateur hour compared to the drama of the Lance & Landis show.

Hincapie and Hamilton just upped the stakes but that’s only half the story. This is a show that delivers on every front: searing human drama and, yes, fall-off-the-bike-laughing comedy. We’re talking about the new main character in the show, the inimitable Michael Ball, the empty wallet behind Rock Racing and those expensive designer jeans. Turns out the Feds followed a trail of illegal activities from Rock Racing all the way to US Postal.

Now let’s step back and look at Ball and why he’s in the show — because he fulfills certain requirements of great story telling. First, having Ball play a role means you widen the conflict and push it beyond the narrow confines of cycling. Now we’ve got the fashion world, cocaine, sexy girls in tight jeans, Hollywood clubs and stars. Let’s not forget the eye candy and cinematography. This show was lacking hot babes and that oversight had been brilliantly rectified.

Second, Ball is a fantastic and quotable character in his own right. A man who described Francisco Mancebo, his top rider, this way: “It’s very simple: training, Spanish wine and f**k his wife.” Ball is a loose cannon that can take a story in a dozen crazy directions. A superb addition to an already first rate cast.

The Lance & Landis continues to astound: rich, unexpected characters, superb casting, exotic locales all over the world, hard nosed investigators, heroes and goats and a host of crazy bit players. Stay tuned.

*Disclaimer: Twisted Spoke makes no claims of guilt or innocence or the validity of legal testimony or arguments. This is strictly a wildly imagined piece of creative writing. No actual events used in the making of this post. We’re just enjoying the best show that isn’t on TV.

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  • crazycanadian

    Not such an awesome show for the millions of cancer survivers who gained and continue to gain inspiration from Armstrong. My family happens to have two. Sorry Twisted….I'm trying like hell to find to find the humour in this but, unfortunately, its just not happening.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      James, if you’ve read TS regularily you know I have lauded Armstrongs’s incredible fund raising for cancer many times. He is a hero of mine and deserves tremendous repect for his efforts. I have the first two Armstrong books on my shelf and consider him a inspiration on many levels. That doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with him and the Landis allegations or see the humorous side of that sitation. I might add that the outcome of that investigation will in no way change that respect. Thanks for reading and checking in. Matt

  • TR

    What are you referring to re: “gift/bribes” that are “up to two”? I guess I missed an episode…

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Yup, McQuaid now says there were two donations.

  • TR

    OK, saw the re-runs and am now up to date. So how ’bout Novisky/Miller offering ‘get out of jail free’ deals? You rat on a bigger name and if it sticks, your drug offense is not so bad anymore? Jeez these dudes are only in it for the headlines and possible future career deals. Who plays who in the upcoming movie??

  • http://www.turbocrank.com Joe

    My man Frankie already had his say and what came of that?
    Nobody will believe that Armstrong doped whoever it comes from.
    His next sponsor T-Fal®.

  • Rron

    Sure he doped, they all did, so I consider his seven wins done on an even playing field. But unless there is video of him shooting up none of the Lance fanatics are gonna believe it. Guess who comes out smelling like a rose and sells another million books? All for a good cause of course!
    Lance lost the Tour this year but he’s gonna be victorious in the courtroom all on the assumption that lack of evidence proves nothing.
    I can see it now, Armstrong/Livestrong organizes the millions of yellow bracelet wearers to bombard the prosecutor in support of their hero….I’ve seen them crying and screaming outside the team bus in Georgia and France. I wouldnt wanna be in the DA/’s shoes!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Hi Ron, the teflon is starting is scrap off the Armstrong skillet. Who knows what’s going to happen. I figure if we can’t have the excitement of him racing, then watching Lance fight off the Landis allegations is the next best thing. Matt

  • Cadence90

    Oh they’ll believe it just fine if Big George confirms any of it. As has been noted: You don’t want to lie to the feds. You WILL go to jail for it.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      I’m thinking George might lie. Six months in jail versus decades of Amrstrong help for Hincapie Sports with Nike?

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