Tour de France Starts Today … All Eyes on 7 Time Tour de France Winner Lance Armstrong and his Return
If it’s the 4th of July, it means it is also the start of the Tour de France. This year all eyes, especially American one’s, will be back watching the Tour de France as 37 year old Lance Armstrong is making a comeback and returning to the bike racing after a 3 1/2 year retirement. One thing is for certain, I have no idea how Lance Armstrong will finish this year in the Tor; however, he is the only reason why I will even tune in and watch.
Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong has begun his comeback at the Tour de France in the first-stage individual time trial.
The 37-year-old Texan, back after 3 1/2 years of retirement, took off 18th among the 180 cyclists Saturday who are rolling down the start ramp one-by-one for the race against the clock.
The 9.6-mile stage takes riders along the winding, hilly roads of the small Mediterranean principality of Monaco.
As stated in SI, the time trial was also likely to show right away whether Armstrong’s 37-year-old legs still have it. We shall see how it pans out.
The American will be the eighteenth rider to leave the start ramp in the 15.5km (9.6 miles) time-trial today, nearly three hours before the main contenders set off. It is a far cry from his glory years when, as defending champion, he was always the last man away.
Armstrong’s early start may be an attempt to play down his chances, or, given the local trend for late afternoon showers, could be a cunning plan to avoid descending through steep hairpins in the rain. In any event, the Texan can expect to be back at his hotel by the time his younger Astana team-mate – and potential rival – Alberto Contador, of Spain, takes to the road.
The real face of Lance Armstrong, screamed the headline of one of France’s national newspapers yesterday, before devoting pages 2-6 to ‘The Boss’.
They could just as easily have substituted ‘Le Tour de France’ for Armstrong’s name.
His craggy 37-year-old features stare out of the backdrop for bulletins on the nation’s television news broadcasts too.