Tuesday, July 28, 2009

6 and Some other Stuff

And he, Cavendish, wins in Paris. Cavendish won 6 stages in the 2009 Tour de France (TdF); Contador wins yellow for the 2nd time time; Young Andy Schlech takes 2nd; Lance, in his 12th tour de France, took 3rd in the yellow jersey competition. I say 12 because I believe Lance road in 4 tours de France from 1993 thru 1996 (pre cancer). Then, post cancer, he won 7 consecutive yellow jersey's from 1999 - 2005, now this year taking 3rd makes for 12 TdF's. PLEASE SET ME STRAIGHT IF I AM INCORRECT. However, he did drop out of the 1996 TdF. He was never considered a contender for the overall prior to cancer. Cancer changed his body--it allowed him to rebuild himself in the shape of a climber and all-rounder, opposed to a powerful, but bigger cyclist as he used to be.

Most people only know of Lance Armstrong because of the TdF. They think he was just some cyclist before winning "the Tour" 7 times. To tell you the truth, I was strictly a mountain biker until around 2001. I had only heard his name a few time until he got cancer. Since then, its hard for anyone to not know stuff about him. However, here's some stuff you may not know...

LA was a rock star in both the tri world and the cycling scene before his 7 tour wins. Before bike racing, he was a professional triathlete--a pro tri-geek at age 16. His strength was cycling and he eventually took that route. His career was soaring straight up before cancer almost ended it. Before cancer (and the rest of the story), he was one of the winningest pro cyclists in America. Even won $1 mil in 1993 for winning a triple tour of races in a series: Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic , and the CoreStates USPRO Nat'l Championship. (remember when K-Mart was the 'Target' and 'Walmart' of the retail world?) Anyway, that year, 1993, he raced in the TdF and got his first TdF stage win. He also road in the Olympics in 1992 and 1996. Ok, that's enough random trivia about Lance.

Please add more about some of the big names in cycling if you can dig up some good stuff--no doping or negative stuff though.


Gunnar said...

He was also the youngest world champ in the road race. He won the Tour Du Pont (American stage race long before the tour of Georgia or California) twice after coming in second place twice. He also is the only American to win the sping classic La Fl├Ęche Wallonne.

He was actually being groomed as a stage racer (and TDF contender) long before his cancer. Though cancer did help him both mentally and physically he may have gone on to win the tour (at least once) if he never had it.

Mario said...

Nice. I am not a Lance fanatic, but I do defend him when it comes to doping based on his past, not necessarily his current accomplishments. A freakishly fast 16 year old was most likely not doping. Add 10-15 years of experience and arguably the best coaching, sports physiologists, and team, and you have a super athlete. I also argue that there are a handful of cyclists that could have been put with USPS and they would have won too--the team was that good. Maybe not 7 in a row, but that team, and the current one are ridiculous. Just think if they got Cavendish!