I always know it's nearing the end of June because inevitably, every year I always end up visiting the same two places on the same day: Ben's Barber shop and the Verizon store. These are my two personal signposts that point to the Tour de France. At Ben's, it's a "#2 all around" for $13, while the mobsters at Verizon get me for $100 for the full Euro spec data plan.
It was just over seven years ago that I witnessed my first Tour de France team time trial. It was an epic day when Lance and his U.S. Postal team decimated the field on a rainy day that finished in the town of Arras. The day remains memorable as much for the great race and American team win as the dinner that followed. I’m not sure just how it happened, but as luck would have it, a collection of us Americans found ourselves at what was probably the only Mexican restaurant (“Mexico City”) within a hundred miles. Besides the Texas film crew covering Lance, there was Toshi from Giro and Frankie Andreu and probably others, but time and way too many tequila platters that night have combined to damage my memory. I do remember that we had a riotous time celebrating both the stars-n-stripes win as well as a belated Fourth of July.
Ah yes, another Fourth of July spent in France. Regular readers might recall my familiar lament at annually being guilt tripped by my daughter for missing another fireworks laden celebration. However, since she’s now 18 with a driver’s license and less of a desire to “kick-back” with me versus those who better know the ins-and-outs of FaceBook, the guilt has begun to diminish.
Still, on my last day at home before heading overseas, she invited me to go see “Page One” the new documentary on the New York Times. It’s a good movie about a great newspaper facing hard times. It made me think of Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer; two qualified American legends with an equally immediate, and tough, challenge at hand.
The voices & faces of Le Tour - Phil, Paul and Bobke on Versus
My looong shot pick for Tour de France glory? It’s gotta be Horner. The likely winner based on his outright decimation of the Giro? Alberto Contador. The big question of July? Has Andy Schleck been sucking or just shamming us these last few months? It should all be fun. Be sure to stick around and look for plenty of race results, photos, interviews and of course, all the latest tech. Also, don't forget the three amigos on Versus Channel for daily blasts on the tube.
Happy Fourth of July!
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AND THIS @ LANCE....
Your article/column review of Lance's history and friendship was
interesting. Like heavy weight boxers, we can argue who is the greatest
of all time.
But, recently in Copenhagen, my wife and I signed up for a city bike
tour with “Mike the Bike” (http://www.bikecopenhagenwithmike.dk) during
the ride Mike told us about Denmark's healthcare system and his battle
with cancer a year earlier. When the ride ended the discussion came
around to Lance and riding.
Mike the Bike put his two cents in and then disclosed that he had
written Lance an email during his dark hours of cancer treatment
inviting Lance to ride with him if he ever got to Copenhagen and told of
his ongoing battle with the disease.
Two weeks later he received an email from the Great One encouraging Mike
to fight hard and acknowledging Lance's bond with Mike..
This note had a great emotional effect on Mike. He will never forget the boost this small jester gave him towards recovery. Lance is one of the stars that has turned his celebrity into giving hope
and support to hundreds of thousands of cancer patients around the
Not bad for a bike racer.