Lance Armstrong's competitive bug has gotten the best of him. It appears that after watching three unconvincing winners of the Tour de France grind out three unconvincing wins, Lance has decided that, at 37 years of age, he can still teach them how it's done.
The fact that he is making Jean-Marie Leblanc (Ex-Tour Director) and his band of merry Frenchmen aggravated comes as an added bonus for the feisty Texan.
Lance is tired of the hushed accusations and is determined to prove it was his heart, skill, and iron will that made him the winner he is.
Armstrong has decided to put his body and will to the test to silence France's sports daily L'Equipe and all others who have openly challenged his integrity as a competitor by continuously questioning his performances and raising the doping issue.
Holding true to the "Don't Mess with Texas" slogan, Lance has managed to put the cycling world in a catch 22. No matter what the outcome of his reinsertion into competitive cycling, they lose.
Here's a look at a couple of possible outcomes:
- Lance returns and wins at 37, making current competitors appear soft and unworthy of being noticed as soon as he retires again; a group of young competitors who lack the talent and drive to defeat a man who, though not in his prime, thoroughly outdoes them.
- Lance returns and is caught doping, cycling looses its biggest star, and an already disillusioned public becomes even more disenchanted with the sport.
- L'Equipe is thrilled with the outcome and tells everyone "we told you so" in French.
- Lance returns, attempts to compete, and fails miserably. His image as an unbeatable champion takes a hit, and currently dissatisfied cycling fans lose a shinning star and a legend and become even more apathetic to a sport that has lost most of its original luster.
- So it appears that no matter what the outcome of his attempted return is we will see a lot more of Armstrong's grin in the paper over the next few months, while the head honchos of the sport fret about what the sport will become once the spotlight is off him and on them again.
As we await the result Cyclone Armstrong will have on the Pro Cycling world BetSportWeb.com is offering odds on what you believe will be the outcome of Lance's return:
Will any of the following occur as a result of Lance Armstrong's return:
|He will win his eighth Tour de France.||5/1|
|He will be discovered doping*.||20/1|
|He will win the Tour by a margin greater than 10 min.||15/1|
|He will be forced to retire from the Tour due to exhaustion**.||15/1|
|He and Jean-Marie Leblanc will get into a fist fight on national TV||100/1|
|He will admit to dating Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.||20/1|
|He will not be allowed into France.||50/1|
|He will announce he is retiring on the podium of his eighth win.||1/2|
|He will race for the BetSportWeb.com cycling team.||1/50|
*Wagers will not be graded till the doping is confirmed with a second test.
**Must start the Tour De France first.
Note: Results will be graded at the end of the '09 Tour race.
by Scott Rivers