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Spoiler SI magazine: Lance Armstrong: Hurts So Good(18 posts)

Spoiler SI magazine: Lance Armstrong: Hurts So Goodeschelon
Jul 31, 2003 11:45 AM
Someone in the office gave me the Sports Illustrated interview of Armstrong regarding his recent Tour.

Hurts So Good....by Rick Reilly

They should've buried Lance Armstrong this time. They had him laid out like a yard sale on a Pyrenees road. Had him sick, white-mouthed and dizzy. Had him riding in the weeeds, ridingborrowed bikes and cracked bikes. Hell, once they had him scabbed and swollen, hip throbbing, saddles sores mounting, out of water and luck and hope. Buth they didn't bury him. Couldn't. Now here he is, with his first beer and the last laugh on Sunday night in his swank Paris hotel suite, sitting gingerly on a saddle sore-"the size of Pikes Peak," he says-and toasting his ugliest yet most magnificent Tour de France victory, his fifith straight. But Cinq nearly sank him. "At one point, as I was crashing," he says with a grin as big as Texas, "I actually thought, OK, this Tour is finished for me. I mean, I was already downt ot my last chance." Armstrong ansd his three-year old son, Luke, play a little game, Lance asks Luke, "What does Daddy do?" And Luke always answers, "Daddy makes them suffer." But htis Tour was all about Armstrong suffering. Diarrhea to start. Hideous road rash left over from road rash left over from a pre-Tour tumble, ripped flesh that made even doctors' faces go chalky. A shoe snafu that caused killer hip tendinitis. A pileup during stage 1 that produced new grotesqueries, including an 18-inch tore track across his back. That wasjust the beginning. There was the day he darted to avoid a crash and woulnd up in knee-high weeds. A rabid mountain biker, Armstrong simply churned through the weeds until hi came to a ditch, clicked out of his pedals, held the bike in the air, leaped over the ditch and discovered he was in front of the leaders again. "Mon Petit shortcut," he told French TV. It got worse.
Cont'd...eschelon
Jul 31, 2003 11:47 AM
In the brick-oven heat of stage 12, Armstrong miscalculated the amount of water he would need - "dumb," he says-and became so dehydrated he could barely keep the bike upright. He was dizzy, face beet-red and swollen, eyes bulging, a pasty white ring around his mouth. In the last 30 minutes of that stage, he lost 14 pounds , and 1 minute, 36 seconds to rival Jan Ullrich of Germany. Says Armstrong, "That's as close as I've come to just getting off the bike and quitting." For the next two days he looked as though he should have. "At breakfast he just didn't look like Lance," said Armstrong's best and on the U.S.Postal Service Team, George Hincapie. "We were all freaking out. We're like, Oh sh1t, we're in trouble." Yes, they were. With six stages left, Armstrong's lead over Ullrich was only 15 seconds. "Do you know how little 15 seconds is?" Armstrong says. "It's nothing!" Nothing that can't be lost when a little boy on the Luz Ardiden in the Pyrenees accidenttally catches the strap of his tote bag on Armstrong's handle bars, sending him flying off his bike for a taste of asphalt. Panicked, Armstrong picked himself up and rethreaded the bike chain-screaming "every swear word I know"-then climbed back on and realized his dream of six straight wins was on ruin's doorstep. After all, getting to four straight and then starting over isn't practical. "It was on of the most intense feelings I've had in my life," he says. "Your back is against the ropes
Cont'd...eschelon
Jul 31, 2003 11:48 AM
. They're coming at your and you've been losing it all week, and now your're about to lose it all. What's your answer? What are you gonna do?" If your're Lance Armstrong, you deliver the greatest single day performance of your life. "For the first time the entire Tour," said Johan Bruyneel, the USPS team director, "I saw that pissed-off look on Lances's face." The unsquashable Texan danced the Watusi on the field. Riding a bike with a crack in the rear chainstay, he turned the mountain stage into a French cuffing, increasing his lead to 67 seconds-three touchdowns in biking. Afterward, jublilant and speeding down that mountain in his bodyguard's car, he saw the team bus up ahead. Armstrong can't leave with the team bus up ahead. Armstrong can't leave with the team after stages becauseof all the doping tests, interviews and autographs, but he desperately wanted to be with them. "Stop the bus!" he began yelping. "Stop 'em!" When the bus pulled over, Armstrong burst on board like an ATF agent, screaming like a maniac, "How ya like me now?" Some of his USPS teammates don't speak a English. It didn't matter. Everybody on the bus went berserk. "It was all of us piling on top each other, hugging, tears, throwing fruit at each other, everything," he says. "These guys had busted their hump for me-kept me in it. It was just a great, great moment." And this was Armstrong's great, great win, in that he still would up best even at his worst. This was his Michael Jordan, gme 5 Salt Lake City, food poisoning. This was the year Armstrong beat them aching, beat them dumb, beat them unlucky. They won't get him like this again. So, no, they didn't bury him. Lance Armstrong once had 14 tumors in him and a 40% chance to live. If cancer can't bury him, a bunch of guys in lycra shorts have no chance.
OK..I'll buy it on the way home. Nice article. (nm)PaulCL
Jul 31, 2003 12:21 PM
Yeah, there's another feature regarding the Tour too. nmeschelon
Jul 31, 2003 12:26 PM
and you sufferedTypeOne
Jul 31, 2003 2:13 PM
having to retype that entire column. It doesn't look like a cut & paste job, for some reason. Thanks for sharing - I look forward to my issue arriving in the mail :)
I'm a fast typer...eschelon
Aug 1, 2003 6:06 AM
for some reason, my mind was working faster than my fingers and kept on making numerous amounts of mistakes...but I figured the effort for you fine brethren would be worth it.
re: Spoiler SI magazine: Lance Armstrong: Hurts So GoodPEDDLEFOOT
Jul 31, 2003 12:23 PM
And still some sports reporters don't think he's the world's greatest athlete.I've noticed that there are more though that are finally waking up to the fact that pro cycling is one of the most difficult sports to be in.
Great account!Fredrico
Jul 31, 2003 12:32 PM
He crashes and comes back to win the stage! What motivation. I bet we don't hear any more about the cracked chainstay, though.
Agree that Trek will hush up the broken chain stay! -nmTig
Jul 31, 2003 3:28 PM
Here is the story that Trek sent to it's dealerscyclist of all trades
Jul 31, 2003 5:06 PM
Armstrong's Bobble
What really caused Lance to almost crash a second time?


By Joe Lindsey, Contributing Writer
July 23, 2003

Since Monday, there has been speculation about what caused Lance Armstrong to almost crash twice on the queen stage of the Tour de France, the ride to Luz Ardiden. Armstrong had counterattacked Euskaltel rider Iban Mayo when his right brake lever hooked a fan's musette, sending the race leader tumbling to the ground. Mayo, right on his wheel, couldn't avoid the fall and went down heavily as well.

Armstrong unshipped his chain in the crash and it took him a minute to get going after a herculean push from Postal mechanic Chris Van Roosbroek. Then, just moments later as he was regaining the lead group of riders who, under the instructions of Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ullrich, had waited for Armstrong, disaster nearly struck again.

Something happened to Lance's bike, his gears appeared to slip and he fell off the pedals, banging his groin on the top tube and swerving perilously close to the curb. He nearly brought down Mayo again. What happened?

Theories abound: Lance broke his pedal or cleat. The musette somehow damaged the shifter. The fall damaged his derailleur. Lance wasn't clipped into his pedals. The answer, it turns out, is far more interesting. In his diary on the Trek site, Scott Daubert, who is the company's liaison to the teams it sponsors, says that when Mayo fell, the impact on Lance's bike broke the right chainstay.

"When Lance kicked his foot out I thought (as did Chris, I later learned) that the fall had damaged his pedal or shoe or cleat," wrote Daubert. "Not so. When Mayo fell he landed on Lance's right chainstay breaking it half way through.

"Once back on the broken bike, it would have felt flexy but the broken part was not flapping in the wind. But when Lance put some power to the pedals to get back up with the others, the chainstay flexed and yanked on the rear derailleur cable. That made the chain jump up and down the cogset and nearly put Lance back on the deck."

Shimano's Chris DiStefano also said that replays of the scene appear to show that Lance had not fully clipped into his right pedal, which contributed to the near crash.
So why didn't it happen again? Daubert isn't sure what caused the chainstay problem to abate. "Perhaps Lance adjusted to the bike condition or he just got lucky and the problem was less pronounced. I don't know how to explain why the bike would have settled down, but it did," he wrote. Not only did the bike "settle down" but the frame never broke. For years, carbon has had a reputation for catastrophic failure--when a frame went, it went without warning. What changed?

Trek Product Manager John Riley said that OCLV construction is partly to credit for why the bike didn't fail. "Carbon gets a kind of rubber stamp," he said of the view that carbon is carbon, no matter who the builder or the construction technique. Trek's fabrication, a combination of bonded tubes and molded lug joints, is a blend of two different styles. No one outside Trek knows quite what the OCLV--which stands for Optimum Compaction, Low Void--construction method is (Trek guards the secret like it's a matter of national security, and even most company employees are not allowed to view the fabrication facility), but it does work.

"Of course, we haven't figured out some secret where we can say our bikes never break," Riley told me. "But our frames have very good compaction, and what happens when you get a break in a carbon frame is that the voids and pockets tend to make it spread more rapidly than in a metal frame. Like all carbon bikes, ours are multi-layered, but we spend a lot of time and money making sure that the layers are well-compacted and that there aren't voids. The impact was enough to soften the stay, but not to break it entirely."

Armstrong, curiously, was riding an OCLV 5900, on the looks of it the same model he
got cut off. Can you post the rest... (nm)kjr39
Jul 31, 2003 5:35 PM
verry interesting....Fredrico
Aug 1, 2003 11:26 AM
If Lance came back to win the stage on that broken chainstay, it speaks well for OCLV's crashworthyness. Interesting defense.
re: Ran into Rick Reillyteoteoteo
Jul 31, 2003 7:32 PM
Outside the Crillon hotel in Paris on Sunday night. He had just finished up 30 minutes with Lance for this piece. The funniest part was watching so many Lance nuts clamoring in front of hotel and none of them noticed guys like Reilly, or Chris Fowler or even Kevin Livingston who walked by.

They only wanted one guy--one guy that was going to use a different door than the one they were standing near.
so he had a saddle sore....rufus
Aug 1, 2003 6:08 AM
do you think they had to "lance" it?
on the other hand, you have idiots like this_rt_
Aug 1, 2003 9:10 AM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2003/07/22/fool227.DTL

gotta love knuckle-dragging ignorance.

great SI story. thanks for the pre-post.

rt
on the other hand, you have idiots like thisdave woof
Aug 1, 2003 9:56 AM
To that guy Poker is probably a sport.

D
i emailed him..._rt_
Aug 1, 2003 10:04 AM
his response to me was as offensive as his column. granted i didn't go for exceptionally polite, but his response was close to unprofessional.

essentially what he said is that the definition of sport is subjective and can be whatever you think it is. he happnes to think that something is a sport only if it involves a ball of some sort. since he has been a "popular sports columnist for 25 years" apparently his definition is more correct than mine.

oh well. guess i don't have to worry about him not holding his line & crashing into me during a group ride. ;-)

rt