It’s not about the bike, it’s about the beer. As Joe Lindsey pointed out in his always hilarious Boulder Report, Lance Armstrong has three mugs of beer going at once. An impressive stunt, not unlike climbing Alpe d’Huez with several chimps on your back — only a superstar could pull that off.
In one hand, he’s got a pen and signed contract for a lucrative sponsorship deal with Anheuser Busch’s Michelob Ultra. In the other hand, he’s holding a Coors Light while trying to convince Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to bring the old Coors Classic stage race back to life, despite a massive hole in the state budget. Bike race, fund bankrupt schools, bike race, fund bankrupt schools, and the winner is….
And in his third hand — yeah, you knew Lance was super human — he’s dumping out a glass of Shiner Bock, his favorite Texas beer. The one he guzzles in the off-season unless, suddenly, there’s a multi million dollar deal for Michelob Ultra — see hand number one.
That’s plenty of suds to juggle and Twisted Spoke is sure that Radio Shack boss and buddy Johan Bruyneel is also pushing a big Belgian style ale toward Lance. Four hands on Armstrong? With a name like that anything is possible.
But let’s shove the money off the table and focus on the beer. Michelob, Coors and Shiner Bock are the wrong choices. As usual, the savvy Bruyneel is the closest to knowing the right beer choice for Lance. A step back for a moment — not from the bar, from said question.
First, what beer truly reflects Armstrong’s “lifestyle,” matches his product gestalt and defines the most famous endurance athlete in history? The answer lies in the Texan’s legendary devotion to all phases of training as July and the Tour de France draw near.
As Bruyneel and coach Chris Carmichael know, Lance goes into what he calls Elevated Monk Status. A monastic state of pure, unalterable, fiendishly focused dedication to the cause of winning another yellow jersey.
We’ve arrived at the Duh Conclusion: Lance should be drinking the monk’s beer, a Trappist Ale from Chimay, Orval or say, Westmalle. A natural fit considering that Trappist ale originated in La Trappe, France. Le Tour, always Le Tour — Lance knows that. (You think Bernard “Badger” Hinault, winner of five tours, would drink a light beer? Sacre bull-crap, mes amis.)
So yeah, you’re hanging with Lance in his backyard in Austin late next summer. He’s explaining how he nailed that pistelero Contador to the wall and Three Stooge-Slapped little Andy Schleck in the 2010 Tour.
Then he looks at you and says, “yo, grab a few cold monks from the cooler.” Sounds weird but you’ll get used to it. Because a Chimay ale will whomp a watery Coors or limp Michelob. It will put hair on your chest, like a trappist hair shirt. You may even start a Gregorian chant or give your bikes to charity. You may quote old scripture in French or recite threshold data from Lance’s old training logs. Don’t get too carried away, okay?
Twisted Spoke thinks it’s not too late: Lance, drop the Michelob Ultra. The Elevated Monk Status beer is the only way to go.