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Jul 10, 2001 1:49 PM
I was talkin' with my dad a couple of nights ago... he watched the show that CBS Sports had on TdF this past Sunday afternoon. Dad said that during the show, they asked some trivia questions... one of them was something like, "What is Lance's secret weapon during training?" The answer was "A sledgehammer." Dad asked me if I knew anything about that. I said that, to my knowledge, it was just a metaphor for when he "drops the hammer" during the mountain stages. But I figure I'd better ask here, just in case.

Okay... anybody got any clues on this one? :)

Thanks a truckload!

Randall Kowalik
Not sure if it's true, but this is what I heardmr_spin
Jul 10, 2001 5:26 PM
A long time ago, Lance shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. He wasn't called Lance at the time--his real name is Bugsy Malone. He got caught, and ended up doing hard labor on an Alabama chain gang. All day long he would break rocks with sledgehammer under the unforgiving sun. Even at night, it was still so unbearably hot, he could hardly sleep. So he and the other prisoners would engage in feats of strength and other contests. Lance won the egg eating contest, but had to spend a few nights in the hole.

One day while working on the side of the road, a lone cyclist rode by the convicts. What is that, he asked the man. It's a bicycle, the man replied. Bugsy, er...Lance, decided then and there, if he ever got out of this place, he would get himself a bicycle and ride. Riding a bike was freedom in its purest form. You could go anywhere on a bike!

Another day, a man came walking down the road, wearing a beret and carrying a baguette. Why do you wear that silly hat, Bugsy asked the man. He replied, parce-que je suis Francais! Huh, said Bugsy. I am French! the man replied. Right then and there, Bugsy swore, if I ever get out of this place, I'm going to France.

One night, Bugsy couldn't take it anymore, so he developed a plan to breakout. Using his trusty sledgehammer, he broke free from his chains, busted down the prison gate, and disappeared into the night. He kept running for days, eluding men, dogs, helicopters and the actor Tommy Lee Jones. Finally, when he reached Austin, Texas, he felt safe.

He changed his name to Lance Armstrong, found an old rusty bike and began fixing it up. On his rides around town, people would call him a "cutter" for reasons he couldn't understand. Cutter? No, I'm a smasher, he would yell back, holding his sledgehammer aloft. Yes, he still travelled everywhere with his only friend, the sledgehammer that gained him his freedom.

He got better and better on that old rusty bike, and one day he went for a long ride. Riding on the highway, he could hear a semi approaching. As it passed, he slipped into the slipstream and raced after it, hitting speeds close to 60 mph! Then the trucker got pulled over by the cops. Later in the ride, some guys with Cinzano clothing rode by and stuck a pump in his wheel, launching him through the air and landing him in the bushes. Right then and there, he swore no one would ever pass him on a bicycle again.

He hadn't forgotten about France. After years of working odd jobs, he finally scraped up enough money to go to France. Like most tourists, he signed up for an organized tour. It was tough getting his sledgehammer on board, but it made it through X-rays and it did fit into the overhead storage bin, so the airline let him on. When he arrived in France, he was surprised to find that there were a lot of other cyclists on the same tour as he was. This Tour de France thing is pretty cool, he thought....
Whoa. You have WAY TOO much time on your hands!!!!!!!Jim Bennett
Jul 10, 2001 5:45 PM
it was kinda humorous though...

Thanks so much for this great post . . .LAIrish
Jul 10, 2001 6:24 PM
It's really great to have you guys who really know the history of the sport to clue us in.

I never knew this stuff. I tell ya, I'm really gonna impress my friends at the local watering hole tonight well I tell them this story.

Keep up the good work.
Not sure if it's true, but this is what I heardLarry Meade
Jul 10, 2001 8:16 PM
Actually it was Charles (Baby Face) Nelson. Bugsy was several inches shorter and had an inner ear problem which would not allow him to balance on a bicycle. He took up a career in NASCAR racing for Jr. Johnson. The infection was in his right ear so he could turn left with no impediment. Everything else was accurate.

Jul 10, 2001 9:18 PM
You get my vote for "Post of the week"!!

One thing though, I had heard Lance was FKA John Henry. LOL
Not sure if it's true, but this is what I heardNoName
Jul 11, 2001 9:39 AM
You're good!!!