A Pep Talk from Lance Armstrong

Tour de France 2009 - Previews

As the Tour de France finishes up its first week and looks to the mountains, Lance Armstrong finds himself in a virtual second behind Fabian Cancellara and de facto leader of supergroup Astana (imagine Jay-Zr, Dr. Dre and and Ghostface with the Roots Crew…). After a rain-drenched Stage 6 to Barcelona that put many a rider on their ass, energy in the peleton is low and morale is lower. Armstrong sent this quick note from his Barcelona massage suite:

Good work, everyone, real good work. I know it’s been a tough week; that last stage was especially torturous, and there’s a lot of guys walking around all banged up (no one from Astana, of course). I just want to say as we look forward to 3 long days in the Pyrénées, let’s keep it together, okay? It’s our first real test in the mountains, and the beyond-categorization Arcalis summit will probably make a few of you shit your pants. No joke — I’ve seen it happen before, and I know it will happen again. And that kind of thing takes its toll on a man after a few days of thigh-searing climbs.

So let’s all make a mental note to think positive thoughts. You’ll probably look up at the front and see me and Alberto and Levi and Klodi leading everything, locking down any break aways, launching attacks just when you think you’re going to lose it all over the asphalt, and you’ll think to yourself, “What the hell am I doing here?? I’ll never beat these guys.” Those legs will suddenly start feeling like they’re made of the same heavy carbon that your bike is, instead of the space age Lancium ours are (it’s actually a top secret DoD project, and as a result, I can’t say much more about it). You’ll probably just want to throw that bike down and sob before the rabid fans tear you to pieces.

Well, don’t give in — don’t give into it! You’ve worked hard and trained your entire life to be on this mountain side with us, and I’ll be damned if my perfection is going to discourage someone from getting on two wheels and living the dream. There are only a few athletes like me in every generation — unfortunately for you, I just happened to settle on cycling. And even though I’m actually coming back from a 4-year retirement, you can’t let that get in your head, because it will just drive you crazy. Trust me, I felt what you’re feeling as I battled Jan Ullrich enroute to my 5th Tour win.

Perhaps I can say it best with a bit of work from my back catalog:

Live strong, and we’ll see you on the top. Behind us, obviously.

(Dictated not read, la/hz)

[Arcalis Will Answer Many Questions – VeloNews]


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