So much has been written about Lance Armstrong, it’s hard to know what to believe and what to think about the disgraced athlete. I don’t think about it much now, except for when the Tour de France is on the horizon. And that makes me think of George Carlin.
Like many other journalists, I wrote about Armstrong’s accomplishments for nearly 20 years. I knew him some, but not well. I liked him for his moxie, his athleticism, his way of controlling a press conference.
Of course, it’s all changed.
The Tour de France begins Saturday in Leeds, England, and suffice is to say the event will not be about the now-dethroned winner of seven Tour de France titles.
The 101st Tour de France will not be without drug controversy. It’s rare that the event is ever without that lingering dark could that follows the peloton.
I thoroughly enjoy reporting on cycling, and I will watch as many stages of this year’s event as possible. I wish I were going this year, which would be my 14th Tour de France. Maybe next year.
The American contingent this year includes a half-dozen young, fresh faces, and with an exception or two, they’re all easy to like. Are they drug-free? I have no idea.
But what I do know is that I am tired of Lance Armstrong. I’ve covered the sport for more than 30 years, and I look forward to the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado in August and future editions of the Amgen Tour of California.
This year’s Tour de France looks wide open. Chris Froome and Alberto Contador may be the favorites. But there’s only one individual time trial and the mountain stages look particularly difficult.
While Americans Tejay van Garderen and Andrew Talansky be in the mix? Has Chris Horner recovered on any level to climb?
Lots of people say what the American public knows is Lance Armstrong, and Lance Armstrong only. I say, the above-mentioned guys and others like Ben King and Peter Stetina, are worth following.
What I do know is that Armstrong won’t have anything to do with the Tour de France.
And who better than George Carlin to concisely sum up my thoughts (and I assuming millions of the former Armstrong followers) thoughts?
In one-minute, in his now famous concert opening, the deceased Carlin let’s it go. He nails Armstrong, Tiger Woods and Dr. Phil. I’ve watched the video 20 times. I laugh harder each time. Vive Le Tour. Vive George Carlin.