Archive for September, 2008

Armstrong was the real deal in 1993.

As it is a wet and windy day I turned to my stack of old video tapes for my cycling entertainment. I found a tape from 1993 of a very nice win in de Ronde by Johan Museeuw. On the same tape was that year’s Milan-San Remo, not a favourite race but worth a look. The winner was Maurizio Fondriest who clipped off over the top of the Poggio and won alone.

What impressed me though was not Fondriest, who as a former world champion could be expected to shine, but Lance Armstrong who was very active in the finale. At the time Armstrong was just 21 years old and had little experience of racing at the top level. The Texan launched a massive attack over the top of the Cipressa with 270km covered but he was pulled back yet he was still active in the chase of Fondriest. There was a massive crash when the chasing group, sprinting seconds after the winner, hit the back of the official car that had stopped just after the line!

Given this demonstration of Armstrong’s ability perhaps I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he snatched the world title from hot favourite Museeuw later in the year to become the youngest ever pro champion.

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Armstrong tops water use list for Austin, Texas

A total of 223,000 gallons of water was used at Lance Armstrong’s home in June 2008 according to the most recent city records available. That’s about what 26 average Austin households use in a month. At a time when rainfall has been scarce and the city has imposed mandatory water restrictions, Armstrong is not the only Austinite using a lot of water.

Armstrong said he didn’t know just how much water he was using. “I’m a little shocked,” he said when told about the water use at his 3-acre home, which has a pool and expansive lawns. “There’s no justification for using that much water.”

Armstrong, who had been in California for part of the month said that the electric bills seemed high when he moved in several years ago but that high water usage had not been called to his attention. His finances, including bills, are handled by a management company. In June, his water bill, which does not include wastewater or other utilities, was $1,630.23, according to Austin Water Utility.

“I need to fix this,” Armstrong said. “To use that much more water (than most residents) is unacceptable. I have no interest in being the top water user in Austin, Texas.”

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Nonsense from Roger Hammond

Hammond recently told Times reporter Brendan Gallagher that “If Armstrong could win the Tour in this day and age it would clarify that he won his Tours clean.” He must be joking. Armstrong beat a doped peloton for seven years and I do not doubt that he could be a serious contender, or even win, a clean Tour. But so what. How does winning clean in 2009 prove that Armstrong was clean in 1999-2006?

There is a mass of evidence that Armstrong doped and against that is the fact that he never failed a dope test. Just like Marion Jones or Ivan Basso or Ivan Basso’s dog or Johan Museeuw or Eric Zabel or Aldag or Bjarne Riis and hundreds of others who never failed a test but we now know were dopers. Get real Roger, whatever happens in 2009 will have no bearing on the dark days of the first Armstrong era.

That nasty crash in Gent-Wevelgem must have shook Roger’s brain.

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