Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Stop the blog! Armstrong retires

Really, Lance Armstrong's press conference hardly delivered earth-shattering news; just about everyone expected the six-time Tour de France winner to announce his retirement immediately following this summer's crack at a seventh win.

It would have been way more entertaining if George Hincapie had been right. Armstrong's team mate predicted the cyclist was going to announce his bid for Governor of Texas.

Just think of the possibilities: cars outlawed in favour of bicycles; thousands of kilometres of new cycle paths constructed; tax breaks for individuals who exercised so much time per day. All that and Sheryl Crow as the first lady too!

I can already see the Governor's first press conference: "Well, Jeb Bush tried hard to catch me, but he just didn't have the momentum in that last county. But I was feeling good, so I just decided to pick up and go."

The New York Times has a nice multimedia package on Armstrong at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/sports/othersports/19cycling.html?oref=login

The paper is also reporting the Tyler Hamilton, the Olympic Gold medalist in the time trail in August, has been suspended for two years for a drug violation. It's a heart-breaking revelation. Many cyclists look up to Hamilton for his gritty style, best exemplified when he rode day after day in the 2003 Tour de France with a broken collar bone.

The irony of the Hamilton suspension coming on the same day Armstrong announced his retirement won't be lost on many. Armstrong is among the world's most tested athletes for drugs.

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