Thursday, July 21, 2005

Floyd and Lance

An update on yesterday's post. Here's the full text of the controversy-generating words of Floyd that were quoted in L'Equipe a few days back.

"I will always remember the 2003 Tour, it was the only time that people thought he could lose. Everyone around him was concerned, even us, his team-mates. But the most surprising thing was that he didn't show anything. I will always remember that he directed the other riders around like the boss of a company. For him, the race was business and he was the boss.

In some teams they often talk about their friendship, but in a team like that with someone who behaves as if he really is the boss, I don't think you can go that far in talking about friendship. In everyday life it's hard to be friends with your boss. I don't believe that Lance has ever had that kind of friendship with any of his team-mates, even with George Hincapie, whom he has known since he was 17. Friendship can't exist when you give orders and direct others. It's not necessarily a negative thing. It's by acting in this way that Lance has been able to win the Tour so often."

That doesn't sound too inappropriate to me, but I guess it depends on how you interpret it. The media, at least, seem to want to make a big deal about it, but I suppose that's what the media does. Here's what had to say in its report of yesterday's stage.

"Despite the fact that reducing their deficit to the break actually limited the day's gains in the team classification [the team GC is determined by the combined times of a team's three best riders on each stage - ed.], Discovery blasted down the descent and into Revel. Popovych had over six minutes advantage in the best young rider standings and so this appeared not to be the driving motivation. Perhaps Discovery wanted to distance Floyd Landis, who had angered Armstrong by comments he made in an interview with L'Equipe earlier this week. If so, that goal was certainly achieved. Landis and Evans finished in a small group 0'20 down, with Vinokourov consequently overtaking them and moving up from ninth to seventh overall.

In his post-race comments, however, Armstrong did not allude to any desire to turn the screws on his former teammate. Instead, he said that attack was the best form of defence, and once he realised that he had two teammates with him, he said that Discovery kept the pace high to prevent any further attacks from T-Mobile. This was despite the fact that Ullrich is six minutes behind him on GC, Discovery was actually hurting its chances in the teams classification by reducing the gap to the 17 riders in front, and Popovych sprinted at full gas for 18th place, which could only have been for the purposes of gaining time."

James has suggested that recent disciplinary actions of the FGBC are "junior-high." I wonder what he might have to say about all this. Maybe someone from FGBC should help Floyd liberate one of Lance's yellow jerseys.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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