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  1. #1
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    Does the "Tour" hate Lance?

    I was just reading some of the articles on Yahoo sports cycling home page. It sounds like LeBlanc (tour director) is sort of bashing Lance! Said he's a great champion, but the race isn't about Lance. The race will go on without Lance. Lance has lost the romanticism and ametureism........Said Lance didn't win because he's so great, but that the competition was so weak????????!!!!!!!!!!

    What's up with that?

    I don't blame Lance for not coming back to the Tour next year. He put it on the "map" in the U.S. the last few years and this is the thanks he gets?

    Why are people overshadowing his wins by saying, "...yeah, but he's not as good as Mercks"? Maybe the competition when MERCKS was racing was weak.........

    In my book, he's THE MAN! He rides to win, puts his whole heart into it...always! Gives his team credit for what they've ALL accomplished. That's what makes a great champion!

    Just my opinnion...............
    Kim in TN

  2. #2
    Since Ever Since Devil's Avatar
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    They say he's not as good as Merckx because he isn't, and he has said that himself.

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    Sick ... again MacMan's Avatar
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    To be fair, Leblanc said that the relative weakness of the other teams vis-a-vis Postal was a *factor*. You didn't quote LeBlanc when he said that Armstrong had brought a level of training and professionalism to the tour that it had never seen before. He summarized it as being an "American" approach - and it wasn't meant as a criticism.

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    As with all multi TDF winners the competition was weak because they (JA EM BH MI LA) were so strong. Saying Lance was not as good as Merckx (I agree) is pointless and sounds like sour grapes. He won it six times fair and square-I wish they would get over it.

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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    LeBlanc isn't fluent in English. The interview was translated, and you always lose something in translation.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil
    They say he's not as good as Merckx because he isn't, and he has said that himself.
    agreed, but that doesn't take this accomplishment from Lance. A lot of "Lance fans" see only Lance and the present, but there's an amazing history already with really really good riders.
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    Quote:
    <I was just reading some of the articles on Yahoo sports cycling home page. It sounds like LeBlanc (tour director) is sort of bashing Lance! Said he's a great champion, but the race isn't about Lance. The race will go on without Lance. Lance has lost the romanticism and ametureism........Said Lance didn't win because he's so great, but that the competition was so weak????????!!!!!!!!!!>

    Kim......the race is bigger than any rider. It seemed to do OK without an American winner from 1903 until 1986.
    In all eras, you can only beat the guys who turn up to race against you. Lance has done that. My personal view is that the breadth and quality of opposition he faces does not compare favourably with, say, the 80's guys, whom Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond faced. That's only my view and no slur against Lance is intended.

    Quote:
    <What's up with that?

    I don't blame Lance for not coming back to the Tour next year. He put it on the "map" in the U.S. the last few years and this is the thanks he gets?>

    Greg Lemond put the Tour on the US map in the 80's. It's not the fault of the organisation that America lost interest in the race after his retirement, until Lance started to win. The French haven't had a winner since '85 and interest there is as intense as ever.

    Quote:
    <Why are people overshadowing his wins by saying, "...yeah, but he's not as good as Mercks"? Maybe the competition when MERCKS was racing was weak.........>

    People who are making these statements are responding to the hyperbole surrounding Lance's historic achievement. Great though his 6th Tour victory is, his career record does not compare with that of Eddy Merckx.
    I'm not sure that names like Gimondi, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck, Altig, Godefroot, Janssen, Maertens, Basso, Moser, Plankaert, Zoetemelk and Ocana mean much to you. Suffice to say they all suffered from racing at the same time as Merckx, coming second to him a lot. They would have been dominant riders in any era but were overshadowed by Merckx in a way never seen before or since. He won one of every three races he ever entered as a professional.

    Quote:
    <In my book, he's THE MAN! He rides to win, puts his whole heart into it...always! Gives his team credit for what they've ALL accomplished. That's what makes a great champion!>

    I think you are right to hail Lance's achievements and entitled to lionise him, as you describe. He is the pre-eminent rider of his generation.

    eric

  8. #8
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    No bashing here. I think Leblanc actually like Lance a lot. He said many times that Lance is the most professional of all and the best trained. He also publically supports Lance on the doping issues having repeated many times that he fully trusts Lance when he claims to be free of doping products.
    Leblanc's problem is that the Tour has seen a tremendous boost in the last few years especially in the US where you can now see live coverage on cable TV. He is no fool and knows that without Lance US coverage won't be as good. Do you remember seing so many American fans along the French roads in the past. Lance and TV have brought a lot of US$ to the Tour and the local economy via tourism and sponsorship. Yesterday a woman mentioned to me that my country was in the headlines on the daily basis. I wasn't sure what she meant and was more thinking about the Iraq situation. Her response was that she was watching the Tour coverage everyday, not for the race but for the images of beautiful villages. She mentioned that she was now dreaming about visiting France.
    The Tour is the greatest bike race but also a business, a big money machine. As any business leader Leblanc wants his business to grow, he wouldn't be annoyed to see Lance on the Tour for a couple more years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil
    They say he's not as good as Merckx because he isn't, and he has said that himself.

    If you read about what it was like to race against Merckx, you come away amazed...the man didn't need a team...AND he did it hauling 24 lbs of bike up the alps...

    Armstrong is great...but Merckx...wow...

    Z

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    I actually think this tour has been the most unwatchable tour in years. Chris Boardman said it on tv last night, and I generally agree that Armstrong should turn his attentions elsewhere next year.

    For those on this board that haven't been into cycling for long or have only watched the tour over the past couple of years - you have a very isolated view. Sure, Armstrong has been great for American road cycling but he hasn't made the tour more entertaining for anyone else. He also only focuses on the Tour de France, and has never won ( or maybe hasnt even raced - someone correct me if I'm wrong ) the Giro di Italia or Vuelta, nor can I remember him winning any one day classics.

    Not to take anything away from his amazing run over the past 6 years, but a large part of his success is that he knows that the TdF is the biggest race and the one that gets the most coverage on American TV, hence it's also economically the best for his sponsors and charity organisation. I think LeBlanc obviously knows this too, but I think it would be foolish to overestimate the degree of influx of American tourist dollars into France and the tour that this brings. The tour has always been massive within France and Europe and other nations with a strong cycling heritage, but I'm yet to be convinced that Armstongs obsession and dominance of the race has any benefits aside from getting more Americans out of the SUV and onto a Trek.
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    Maybe I misunderstood LeBlanc. The way it read to me....less than 2 hours after the race was over......he was negative about Lance's win. Maybe some of what he said was omitted or misquoted or taken out of context.

    You guys are right, new U.S. cycling fans don't necessarily know about the European riders and have barely heard of Merckx (I misspelled it before, sorry) but to take away from an achievement the same day it's accomplished? Poor taste! I was taken aback by some of his comments and the attitude (it sounded like to me).

    I guess like any sport, this one has evolved into a team sport. And like all other sports, doctors, physiologists and coaches are learning how to give their riders the best diet, training, equipment........ but that's available to everyone....not just the U.S. Postal Team.

    Oh, and you're right about all the hype bringing this race into more U.S. homes than before, but maybe that's because there wasn't a "hero" to connect with before.

    I guess that's all I was saying!

  12. #12
    Sick ... again MacMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekchic
    Oh, and you're right about all the hype bringing this race into more U.S. homes than before, but maybe that's because there wasn't a "hero" to connect with before.
    There have been plenty, but unfortunately there is a such a huge insularity in the US when it comes to televised sports, that unless the person at the top is American there is often little regard given to it. Have you ever seen the Rugby World Cup shown here? The US has had a national side for decades, rugby is a poular game in the big cities, and is actually played by thousands in the US but it gets no air time. Painful as it may be for the faithful to watch the Eagles get hammered by the likes of Fiji, Italy, or Samoa, the Rugby World cup is a superb sporting spectacle and worthy of putting on TV. It's the same with the Olympics ... you never get to see any of the "fringe" events if an American isn't in it. Judo? Forget it. Rowing? Not going to see much of that on CBS.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    For those on this board that haven't been into cycling for long or have only watched the tour over the past couple of years - you have a very isolated view. Sure, Armstrong has been great for American road cycling but he hasn't made the tour more entertaining for anyone else. He also only focuses on the Tour de France, and has never won ( or maybe hasnt even raced - someone correct me if I'm wrong ) the Giro di Italia or Vuelta, nor can I remember him winning any one day classics.
    You really have to divide Armstrong's career into two parts, pre and post cancer. It is true that from 1998 to present he has not been a classics racer and has concentrated on stage races. You apparently don't remember that he not only raced the Vuelta (1998), but he finished 4th. He hasn't raced the Giro. He has won the Dauphine a couple of times, The Tour du Luxembourg, Tour de Suisse and Midi Libre. Pre 1998 he was more of a classics racer and won several spring classics, the Fleche Wallonne comes to mind. Oh, and Liege-Bastone-Liege. I think we'll see him ride some of the classics in the next couple of years and at least the Giro. I'd say he'll try to find a way to do the Giro and the Tour.



    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    but I'm yet to be convinced that Armstongs obsession and dominance of the race has any benefits aside from getting more Americans out of the SUV and onto a Trek.
    If that's all he's accomplished (plus fighting cancer/helping cancer patients) then I'd say it's been worthwhile.

  14. #14
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    I guess my opinion is the bad one here then, I personally think Lance is a fantastic rider and even superior to Merckx. Sure Merckx was more of an all round rider, that was possible in his day. The guy who placed dead last in this year's tour had better training, better equipment and better support than Merckx ever did. The Tour now requires this, and also requires an outstanding team to be a winner. Not taking away from Merckx at all, it's just that everything changes with the times. And right now, Lance has proven he is a better TDF rider than anyone ever, to me at least, and to me that is all that matters :-)
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    Didn't Lance win the Tour of Georgia this year?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollow
    Oh, and Liege-Bastone-Liege.
    Lance never won L-B-L.. he placed second in 1994.

    Tyler Hamilton is the only American to win L-B-L.

  17. #17
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekchic
    Didn't Lance win the Tour of Georgia this year?
    Yes, he did. Why do you ask?
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekchic
    I was just reading some of the articles on Yahoo sports cycling home page. It sounds like LeBlanc (tour director) is sort of bashing Lance! Said he's a great champion, but the race isn't about Lance. The race will go on without Lance. Lance has lost the romanticism and ametureism........Said Lance didn't win because he's so great, but that the competition was so weak????????!!!!!!!!!!

    What's up with that?

    I don't blame Lance for not coming back to the Tour next year. He put it on the "map" in the U.S. the last few years and this is the thanks he gets?

    Why are people overshadowing his wins by saying, "...yeah, but he's not as good as Mercks"? Maybe the competition when MERCKS was racing was weak.........

    In my book, he's THE MAN! He rides to win, puts his whole heart into it...always! Gives his team credit for what they've ALL accomplished. That's what makes a great champion!

    Just my opinnion...............
    Kim in TN

    The facts are:

    Armstrong and LeBlanc have a very good relationship. They have mended their strained relationship of the past. Remember when Lance was in hot water in 2000 & 2001? LeBlanc was fanning the flames. However, think about how LeBlance reacted to when the recent book (LA Confidential: Secrets ...) was released. If LeBlanc didn't like Lance, he could have easily bought into it or heeded to the other rider's call for Lance to be banded from this year's Tour by calling for an investigation to be reopened. But LeBlanc didn't buy it. Also LeBlanc was very supprtive of Lance in his bid for this record breaking sixth win. This is documented. So there is no apparent beef between Armstrong and LeBlanc.

    Secondly, Lance will ALWAYS be criticized for not competing and winning any of the other grand Tours (especially the Giro). Yes, Eddy Merkx will be held over Lance's head. Lance knows what he needs to do to be considered the "greatest cyclists" who ever rode a bike. However, Eddy Merkx will live long in the hearts of Euro cycling fans, the fans that really matter - sorry, Americans don't support cycling as a viewer sport and that's a fact as well.

    Thirdly. Yes, Lance put the TdF on the map in the US, but, look at the media coverage the TdF gets in the USA. Here we have an American making history, but, the sports media refuses to acknowledge it by giving this TdF (or at least stage 20) and descent coverage - and that weak a$$ 1 hour show CBS aired at 2:00P ET Sunday didn't cut it. Who is at home at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday in July watching TV? I think insteaad of putting the TdF on the map in the USA, I think it more appropriate to say that Armstrong put American cycling on the map in Europe - European teams will change their training and racing styles due to the Posties.
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