he’s fighting to be “Lance” and fighting to be “not like Lance.”
The Lance brand had evolved to fighting cancer and returns in France to winning le Tour. Brands are usually one thing or the other and not complex dualities. He was riding to raise Livestrong awareness around the globe, a domestique at the Giro, and now fighting within his team for leadership.
Photo: Getty Images.
Return of the King
This distracted, less-focused and picking-his-words carefully Lance is not the one were used to watching race or think we’ve seen before at le Tour.
A Shakespearan drama playing out on the roads of France certainly makes for intense, water-cooler debates and good TV:
The King (Lance) has been out on his hero’s journey to fight cancer, while the Prince (Contador) fights the good battles in the Grand Tours. The King returns and usurps the fabled Prince leaving the Prince unsettled, disrespected, in no mans land.
Battles like this usually end with some poison and everyone dying in a sword fight. Or like TDF Blog observed, “with Odysseus killing everybody for about 5 counties around when he returns.”
Tour History books will remember this race and write about it like Lemond v. Hinault. If Lance does win, so much the better for the entire industry and cycling. That’s from the racer to the commuter to the errand bike or fixed, trick riders.
If he doesn’t win this Tour, expect him not to stop until he does. We don’t think he’ll retire again soon.