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Old 09-08-08, 04:17 PM   #1
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What will it mean to 50+ if Armstrong unretires?

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/26609987/

I know its already been reported in the TDF forum but I think that there are many here who were fans of this man for a number of years.

Edit: I don't know about you, but I am thrilled.
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Old 09-08-08, 04:42 PM   #2
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Retirement Sucks. My goal is 65 to retire then go pro.
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Old 09-08-08, 05:04 PM   #3
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I think it will be fantastic. It will be the reuniting of Johan Bruyneel with Armstrong. Together, they are one of the winningest director / athlete combinations in pro sports - 7 world class wins in a row. I recently finished reading Bruyneel's book "We might as well win." Among many things, it discusses his relationship with Lance, their strategies for winning and professional cycling. I liked it.
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Old 09-08-08, 05:54 PM   #4
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That's really good news to me. I've read most of the books about Lance and he truly is a pro, in more ways than one.
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Old 09-08-08, 08:34 PM   #5
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I hope his return to racing will save the Tour de Georgia. But I think these are just rumors. Astana has denied the whole thing.
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Old 09-08-08, 08:35 PM   #6
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I've gotten used to rooting for other teams and riders. If he were not able to compete with the same intensity and ability as before it would be sad; few pros seem to compete much past 36. Maybe he will still be the same old Lance (with the same controversies?) and that would be interesting.
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Old 09-08-08, 08:39 PM   #7
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Yes, BD, I read that the TdG is in danger. That would be a real shame! Is it lack of sponsorship or lack of interest in the state (or both?)
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Old 09-08-08, 09:54 PM   #8
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I'm a Lance fan, but somehow, I don't really want him to unretire. I like the fact that he's moving on. I am always a bit disappointed when athletes unretire (are you listening Favre?). But I wish him the best.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:00 PM   #9
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I'm still waiting for Michael Jordon's next comeback.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:08 PM   #10
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It would be a lot different than Favre retiring. Favre unretired 5 weeks before the next training camp. Technically, he barely missed a practice. And he never fully committed to retiring, never once telling the Packers that he was sure he was going to retire.

OTOH, Armstrong has missed 3 years of competitive racing.

What makes it more difficult for someone like Lance to unretire is that he probably wouldn't be satisfied with a 10th place finish in the TdF. Most athletes can slip a bit and still be satisfied. Say a baseball player who hit .310 with 40 hr in their prime, but in their later years slips to .280 w/30 hr. Or golfers that slip from winning 3-4 tournaments a year to having the occasional top 5 finish & rare win.

That's a problem for Favre too. He can't gracefully slide from being the ace pitcher to being an effective #4 starter for his last couple of years. He's got to be a starting NFL QB leading his teams to wins.

Lance could come back and compete for top 10 finishes or wins in minor races. Or compete for age group titles. But I'm not sure that would be enough for him. He'd want to make a run at major wins. At least that's my impression. I could be wrong.

He could be the catalyst for creating great interest in Master's events. Much like golfers like Arnold Palmer made the PGA Senior Tour more significant.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:34 PM   #11
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Referring to Bruyneel's book, Lance and Bruyneel are winners. Anything other than winning is not acceptable. If Lance returns, he must believe he can win. Otherwise, it will be similar to other so called comebacks that in many ways tarnished professional athletes' records. Unlike golf, this is no masters pro tour.

Bruyneel portrays Lance as having much more capability than he allowed him to use in winning the 7 TdFs. There were specific races where Lance was told to hold back. One of my favorite examples of this was a race up Alpe D'Huez. Bruyneel wanted Lance to let a credible racer but not a contender win the stage. As Lance is going through the motions of appearing to chase the lead group he radios Bruyneel that he could beat these guys on a tricycle. Assuming it is true, Lance is very tough. His retirement was more about "Hey, I am tired of the grind to do what is necessary to win. He is a smart guy and although nothing is certain, he must believe he can do what it takes to win....again. Welcome back.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:35 PM   #12
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I'm a Lance fan, but somehow, I don't really want him to unretire. I like the fact that he's moving on. I am always a bit disappointed when athletes unretire (are you listening Favre?). But I wish him the best.
I keep thinking of the great Willie Mays and his last few pathetic seasons when he was in the lineup only because he was Willie Mays. Sad.
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Old 09-08-08, 11:13 PM   #13
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I keep thinking of the great Willie Mays and his last few pathetic seasons when he was in the lineup only because he was Willie Mays. Sad.
Wasn't just Mays either. Lots of baseball stars have hung on too long. Consider the following:

Name - BA - HR - RBI

Mays .211 - 6 - 25
Aaron .229 - 10 - 35
McCovey .204 - 1 -16
Mantle .237 - 18 - 54 (and Mantle was only 36)
F. Robinson .224 - 3 - 10
Killebrew .199 - 14 - 44
Santo .221 - 5 - 40
E. Matthews .212 - 3 - 8
Ruth .181 - 6 -12

And so on and so forth. These were the stats from the last season played by these great players.
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Old 09-08-08, 11:25 PM   #14
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He`s going to come back and ride for Astana? Can`t imagine Contador is going to be riding as a domestique for Lance. He`s won the Giro, he`ll very likely win the Vuelta. I`d be pretty shocked to see him riding in support anyone in a Grand Tour. In anycase, it`ll be interesting...
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Old 09-09-08, 04:31 AM   #15
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Just my opinion, but I think he's a fool to do it.

I think that at this point he would do better to run a team or focus on inspiring kids. But as far as I know, Lance has yet to ask me for my opinion.
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Old 09-09-08, 05:10 AM   #16
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I'm glad he is back BUT he is going to ride for free but I'm sure he will get endorsements.

I'll enjoy The Tour next years
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Old 09-09-08, 05:14 AM   #17
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That's a very good point.
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Old 09-09-08, 05:29 AM   #18
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I think it'll suck the oxygen out of American cycling.
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Old 09-09-08, 06:34 AM   #19
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Not to start another rumor, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reason Astana is unaware of this whole thing is because Columbia is still tying to ink the deal. Perfect fit for that team. Back with George and Kirchen for support. Think about it... an american team with great sprinters and great climbers all in one. Fantastic marketing move for Columbia.
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Old 09-09-08, 07:16 AM   #20
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Not to start another rumor, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reason Astana is unaware of this whole thing is because Columbia is still tying to ink the deal. Perfect fit for that team. Back with George and Kirchen for support. Think about it... an american team with great sprinters and great climbers all in one. Fantastic marketing move for Columbia.
Something like this seems more likely to me....just can't see the stars in Astana laying down for LA to make a comeback. Levi is no spring chicken, how many years does he have left? Contador got cheated out of his chance to repeat. Don't know where Johan fits in, but....who knows?

Seems that this all started because LA signed back up for out-of-competition drug testing....

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Old 09-09-08, 10:21 AM   #21
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Something like this seems more likely to me....just can't see the stars in Astana laying down for LA to make a comeback. Levi is no spring chicken, how many years does he have left?
Levi is 35, just two years younger than Lance, and a year older than Lance was when he retired.

If Lance does ride in the TdF next year, he would be just a couple of months short of his 38th birthday.

But then again, Dara Torres did well for herself at 40+, and the aforementioned Brett Favre was 2nd in the NFL MVP voting last year at 38. Michael Jordan averaged 20 points per game in the NBA at 40. Sometimes the great ones can perform at high levels well past what would be a normal person's prime.
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Old 09-09-08, 10:29 AM   #22
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It is possible, that Lance might come back as a mentor, perhaps as an assistant manager on wheels (sort of like the player coaches in lower tiers of professional sports). This might point toward a position as team manager down the road. Certainly he has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to others.
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Old 09-09-08, 04:47 PM   #23
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He'll probably get traded to the Jets.
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Old 09-09-08, 05:25 PM   #24
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It would be interesting. I'd enjoy watching as long as he has a good attitude. I think the odds of him winning are infintesimal. If he's okay with not winning, should that be the case, then I'm for it (though of course I'd enjoy seeing him win his eighth; it would be even more miraculous than seven!) However, I'd MUCH rather see him get 19th place or 102nd, or not finish at all than to have him do well, only to find out that he'd been doping. I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt on that. He's never tested positive and he says he didn't so he's innocent until proven guilty, as far as I'm concerned. It would really make me mad and disgust me if he doped this time.
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Old 09-09-08, 06:24 PM   #25
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It was just on the news that Lance himself said he's coming back. Too raise awareness of cancer worldwide.
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