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Discovering Lance Armstrong

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

My heyday, such as it was, in cycling was from about 1984 to around 1989. For a number of reasons I simply stopped most riding after that and stopped paying attention to the sport. Big part of that was work, marriage and kids which I have talked about in the past but in general it meant that I didn’t follow cycling at all from 1990 to 2009, and in that time a certain Lance Armstrong came to prominence. So it has been weird to miss all of this, then get back into it as hard as I have and basically go from Greg Lemond to Alberto Contador and miss the whole Lance thing. So it’s time to discover just what all the fuss was (and is) about.

In my day it was all Greg Lemond, and he battled back from his shooting and rose once more to the top. I am a big Greg Lemond fan and I had the chance to hear him talk about 3 years ago, I still find him passionate about the sport. Lance had a similar story but one I only knew from afar as a casual follower of sport in general. I wanted to understand this personality who has defined cycling for the past ten years and then some.

I started with some youtube, and you can get some sense of the man. I found this classic. This was the Bermuda Tri in 1987 and clearly Lance was an athlete who brought a level much higher than anybody had seen before. Go to 3:11, he rockets by the older guard (he is 15 in this video). This kid had a future.

With winter here now and a dungeon set up in the basement (trainer and my brother’s old Fiori mounted on it) decided to add some video naturally to the festivities. I usually do a hard 45 minute or hour set more or less daily and that means I can go thru a lot of DVDs. I actually have a lot of VHS tapes of the tour de france and Paris-Roubaix from the mid 80s and started to convert some of those to DVDs so I can review them.

But want some new cycling DVDs too and recently I started to use zip.ca. This is the same, more or less, as NetFlix in the states. Our local DVD rental shop went belly up recently and we were looking for an alternative. Jury is still out on zip.ca (they don’t send you the DVDs as you want them, but as they have them) but at least should allow me to get some DVDs I would otherwise not buy.

Zip has the 2001, 02, 03, 04 and 05 Tour De France. I started with the 2004 version (which I hope isn’t the most interesting of them, Lance just blew everyone away, yawn), but am now working in the proper sequence (realized this isn’t Star Wars!). They also have a few of the Giro’s and a Lance Armstrong biography. Starting with disk1 of the 2001 tour right now.

So I hear this guy was good, I’ll let you know come March!

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