The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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The Incomparable Lance


On the third stage of this year’s Tour de France, Lance Armstrong went with the final breakaway and moved from tenth to third in the classification. Commenting on the race, he said, “I was just trying to stay up front, stay out of trouble, and then it happened. It was good positioning, experience, and a little bit of good luck.” No, Lance. I can say what you cannot. It was sublime. It was genius.

P.S. The Guardian has offered a more prosaic explanation of why Lance took off with Team Columbia. Someone tipped him. Presumably, George Hincapie, Lance’s old buddy. It may be true, but I wonder. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that with Mark Cavendish in their ranks, it’s exactly what Team Columbia would do. Still, as an American, Lance Armstrong could never have the nous to anticipate such a move. George must have whispered it to him on the curve just before the wind split the field.