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Did Lance just let slip how many Tours he's gunning for?(13 posts)

Did Lance just let slip how many Tours he's gunning for?tirider
Jul 22, 2002 7:57 AM
"Interview w/Lance re. fans: an issue of class"

"I don't particularly understand that mentality. I think it's an indication of their intelligence. But those are the things that I have to live with, and I'm not here to be friends with a bunch of people who stand on the side of the road that have had too much to drink, and want to yell "dopé!" I don't have to care. Nor will I care in THREE OR FOUR YEARS when I'm sitting on the beach with my kids, having a cold beer. But don't come to the bike race in order to stand around and yell at cyclists. Stay at home."

Let's see... if he's relaxing three years from now on a beach that means two more years of racing... assuming he wins his fourth Tour this year that means he might be thinking about six Tour victories? And what about the relaxing in four years part? Hmmmm.
Jul 22, 2002 8:18 AM
He also said this:

"I didn't come here to win the Mont Ventoux, I came here to win the Tour de France. I have to remember that, and everybody in the team has to remember that. I think the Tour will be back here before I'm gone, so maybe I'll get another chance. Maybe not."

That's a subtle hint to the Tour organizers: if you want to encourage Lance to retire, schedule Mt. Ventoux! And throw in the other one he just missed, Hautacam. And might as well throw in the other mythical climb, Puy-de-Dome, too!
Where is this interview? Congrats again on the ...NPA
Jul 22, 2002 8:28 AM
breakdown of stage 14, mr spin. if beloki had moved just a few minutes earlier, i might have been close though.
Jul 22, 2002 8:30 AM
I read the article also. He denied this sort of thing a couplePaul
Jul 22, 2002 8:30 AM
of years ago, but it's obvious he has changed his mind. Next year will be the 100 year of the TDF. What a great time to win his fifth. I think he will retire if he wins his sixth. His ego couldn't take losing the tour, and he will want to go out as the best.
Jaja waited till now to announce his retirement when he realized he couldn't compete. Lance won't do that.
i thought next year was the 90th??? nmstik__boy
Jul 22, 2002 8:32 AM
It is,TJeanloz
Jul 22, 2002 8:36 AM
Next year is the 90th Tour, but the 100th anniversery of the 1st Tour, as 10 have been skipped due to the World Wars.
100th year, not race. They didn't race during the wars...nmmr_spin
Jul 22, 2002 8:37 AM
2004 - Just about right,TJeanloz
Jul 22, 2002 8:35 AM
Armstrong will probably ride through 2004, which is potentially a 'magic' year for a couple of reasons.

1. An opportunity for his 5th or 6th TdF win (5th if he loses in 2003) which would either tie or break the record for Tour wins.

2. Another opportunity (#4) for Olympic gold. The Olympic medal has always been important to Armstrong, and is the one major accolade that he doesn't have [he has: Tour wins, a classic win, a world championship- Olympic gold would be nice].
Tours, Classics, World Championship, Olympic gold ...,12x23
Jul 22, 2002 10:00 AM
not bad for a one-dimensional rider, huh? ;-)
Olympics important to Lance?Gator
Jul 22, 2002 10:06 AM
Are you sure about that? I've never heard him say anything to that effect, and he basically snoozed through the race at Sydney. Didn't LOOK like it was that important to him.
Not the RR but the TT.Sintesi
Jul 22, 2002 10:18 AM
He really wanted that TT but Jan was clearly the strongest man at Sidney and Eki had spectacular day.

The Olympic RR Lance has always called a "lottery."
Merckx: Armstrong can win as many Tours as he cares toTig
Jul 22, 2002 12:27 PM
Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who claimed five Tour de France and Giro d'Italia titles, admitted Monday that he never thought Lance Armstrong could one day win the Tour de France.

Merckx, who now works a radio consultant and runs the bicycle factory that bears his name, became friends with the 30-year-old American just before he was struck down by testicular cancer in 1997.

Since then, the two men have grown closer and Merckx now believes the U.S. Postal team leader, currently heading for a fourth consecutive Tour triumph, can win as many editions of the world's top bike race as he cares to.

But the man formerly known as "the Cannibal" for his voracious appetite for victory said he never saw Armstrong recovering enough to win the Tour.

"I'm not afraid to say it, but back then, and seeing his state of health, I never thought he would one day win the Tour.

"Before his illness, Lance was talented, he'd won the world championship at the age of 21, but as a climber he struggled," Merckx told French sports daily L'Equipe.

Armstrong's story of recovery from testicular cancer is now known by millions. But in the cycling milieu, it is generally believed that, although a talented rider, the period after his successful recovery from his serious condition was crucial.

After losing all his hair, and a great deal of weight due to his ultimately successful chemotherapy treatment, Armstrong was physically quite different than he had been before his illness.

A chunky, 21-year-old Armstrong who won a world championship gold in Oslo in 1993, and was one of the best young riders to come out of the United States since three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond, had changed drastically.

Merckx believes that the illness proved crucial to his success.

"Then he lost about five kilos due to his cancer. It was down to his illness that he turned into a great climber," Merckx noted. "Cancer made him much stronger physically, and, more importantly, stronger mentally. He saw death staring him right in the face."

"I went to Texas to see Lance. He went out on his bike for the first time since his illness, and I was there with him," Merckx recalled. "His head was shaved, and he had two big scars at the back of his neck. It was only three weeks after his operation, and you could see he was still exhausted, but he wanted so much to get back on his bike."

Merckx was arguably a more complete rider, winning many of the one-day classics - Liege-Bastogne-Liege (five), the Milan-San Remo (seven),

Paris-Roubaix (three), Ghent-Wevelgem (three), Amstel Gold (two) and the Fleche Wallonne (three) - among others. However, he refuses to compare his success with that of Armstrong.

Cycling has changed, he says. And he admits that, with hindsight, he perhaps shouldn't have been so greedy.

"You can't compare our success. I rode the Tour with a 10-speed bike and today a pair of wheels weighs a kilo less than in my time. In general, the material is much more sophisticated," said Merckx.

"Armstrong is the champion of a new era, which is more professional. I for example raced 150 days of the year. Armstrong focuses on the Tour and arrived this year with only 21 days of racing in his legs.

"I couldn't even imagine missing a one-day classic," Merckx said. "Lance is going to last a very long time. He doesn't need to do all the races I did. I worked myself to the bone. Now, looking back, I realize I was made to do so."