“Last hard ride before the TdF,” said Lance on Twitter. “Test on the Col de la Madone. Record time? No. Close to it? Yes. I’m ready.”
That’s right Livestrong groupies and Lance Zealots, the boss is ready for le Grand Boucle, the race for the bright yellow jersey and fuzzy lions.
How exactly do we know that the seven-time tour winner and cycling superstar is ready to take on the young and heavily favored Alberto Contador? Well, there are a few obvious signals.
All business opportunities in the ever-expanding Armstrong empire have been put on hold until August. He’s staying pat with Radio Shack, Honey Stinger, FRS recovery drinks, his sud of choice, Michelob Ultra. No wasted hours talking deals until he finishes dealing with the Spaniard.
Lance, the most prolific and famous tweeter on two wheels, has now delegated the writing of all his tweets to the LTA, the Livestrong Tweet Assistant. No matter what you read, the TSA has taken over all Lance tweets until further notice.
Anna Hansen on Point
Armstrong has now entered the final preparations and that means among other things, no child care. Nothing. No tucks in bed, not feedings, no afternoon in the park, no pushing the stroller. The kids are 100% Anna’s responsibility with the LTA filling in when needed. Good luck Anna.
Le Francais Ready
The Texan has put the finishing touches on his French vocabulary and tuned up his accent in preparation for charming the fickle French media. When Lance peppers in a few French words or smells of camembert or is seen wearing a beret, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the man is ready.
Subscription to Wall Street Journal Cancelled
Yes, Lance is mad, fighting mad. Rumors that the WSJ is about to unload more news of doping allegations has Armstrong angry as hell, and that is bad news for everyone else on a race bike. No athlete channels anger into watts on the pedal better than the so-not Mellow Johnny. His form is excellent and his focus has now reached laser intensity.
The Lemon Tree Theory
First posited by the brilliant TS reader Duck22 who noted the precise number of yellow lemons on the lemon tree in Lance’s fake office in the Radio Shack advertising campaign. Ponder this mind- boggling use of iconic imagery: there are nine lemons. The man plans to win not eight, but nine tours. Yes, he’s ready allright.
Nice form? No, Awesome Form
As per usual, Armstrong ran his classic up-the-mountain-outside-Nice test and the numbers looked dead on, close to the wonder years when he crushed the pretenders to the yellow throne. When coach Carmichael and guru Ferrari are happy, Lance is happy. He’s a tech geek and a numbers guy and when those numbers are beautiful, good things happen on a Trek in the Alps.
Sure, Lance had his little wine tasting with Bono a few weeks back. That was cool and the U2 singer, despite the bad back and painful recovery, sang a few bars of “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” — which of course we all know is that eighth yellow jersey and a dead Spaniard on the road to Paris.
But the whole distracting celebrity thing is on hold. Some question whether Ben Stiller and Robin Williams will even make the trip to France. Lance is all business and all joking aside, he’s not joking around.
The Final Dance
He’s two months from 39 and this is his final Tour de France. The swan song, the long 3,642 kilometer goodbye. He aint’ going out with a whimper. The Big C better be ready and we’re not talking about Cancer but Alberto Contador.
Lance knew he was retiring months ago — or at least Landis ago — and has done everything to prepare himself. Luxembourg was good, Switzerland was great and France just might be fabulous. He’s going to dance on the pedals in the Pyrenees one last time.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Lance Armstrong slipped Patrick McQuaid, president of the UCI, a large sum of money to disqualify anyone ahead of him on GC. Pat gratefully accepted the last bribe and this time the sum was princely.
One way or another, that yellow jersey is coming back home to Austin, Texas and no skinny guys named Alberto & Andy are gonna alter history. Number eight is in the bank.