Lance Armstrong is not afraid of anyone — on or off the carbon fiber race bike. This we know.
He’s not afraid of anybody in an Astana jersey or Saxo Bank. He sure as crapola isn’t sacred of anyone in a Caisse d’Epargne kit.
The man has faced down cancer, the big C, so skinny guys in lycra barely register on the fear meter. Contador, Schleck, Valverde and Menchov — come on, folks. Those guys don’t even rate compared to chemo. Nobody vomits and loses their hair over Cadel Evans.
Asked for comments on the gun attack on the Togo football team bus in Angola at the Africa Cup of Nations, Armstrong made his own opinion pretty crystal.
“As long as whoever they trust, whether it is the State Department, the police department … as long as someone says, ‘It is good to go, the stadium is safe, the roads are safe,’ then the mentality of athletes is to play the game. And I think that is what the mentality should be.”
It’s certainly Armstrong’s mentality. He’s endured death threats in the 2004 Tour de France, people spitting on him in the Alpe d’Huez time trial. He’s faced down muck racking journalists and doubters of every kind.
Wake up, folks. The man is from Texas, he grew on watching Clint Eastwood in those spaghetti westerns. The man doesn’t faze, ain’t fazable, has never been faze-prone. Armstrong has spent the whole winter shoveling dung on Alberto Contador. The flames couldn’t get any higher. Already thousands of crazed Basque fans are planning their revenge in the Pyrenees. Is Armstrong worried? Doubtful.
“That’s the world we are living in today. People use these high-profile opportunities to make a statement. Any time you have any occurrence where millions of people are watching, that is a target.”
This from a man who went through the 2004 tour with his own body guards plus agents of France’s crack Groupe d’Intervention de la Police Nationale. That’s French for bad ass dudes with hidden sub-machine guns. Lance has it covered — except for that fan’s musette bag that took him down in the 2003 Tour de France. Important distinction: tourist, no terrorist.
So the obvious truth is re-confirmed. Evil nemesis Spanish climber Alberto Contador, bomb throwing terrorist, it’s all the same. For Lance Armstrong, the category is basically the same. Yawn.