This isn’t the tour de France, partner. This is a genuine American mountain bike race.
No Astana, no Saxo Bank, no Contador making those unscripted attacks on the trail and whining about team leadership and whose hotel bed is bigger or who got the most pasta at dinner.
No Schleck brothers trying to double team him on the trail, throwing rocks and hacking loogies at him on those gnarly climbs.
No Bradley Wiggins, time trialing down through the ruts, jumping logs and generally freaking people out with his mad-cap English accent.
No Evans, Menchov, drug fiend Di Luca, Carlos Sastre. Left them in the dust in Europe somewhere. Maybe they didn’t have their visa and shots in order. No matter.
This is not the tour. It’s Colorado, baby. A mile high, not some weird pile of kilometers. This is full suspension, knobby tires, ice cold beer right after. None of them euro-dudes taking Spanish, Italian or Russian trash. No peleton, no Liggett and Sherwood. Just God’s honest dirt.
Step up to the podium Mr. Armstrong. Add another trophy to the case, another jersey for the closet. The 23 mile course forced riders to endure 4700 feet of climbing but hey, it’s not Alpe d’Huez or Mont Ventoux. Still, it’s got rocks and ruts and sometimes a tree branch will whack you right off your bike.
The winner was no other than Lance Armstrong. Congrats. You may be a month from 38 but you’re still the best. In France or Snowmass, Colorado.