07-07-07 ; The Tour De Force

Its a great day. Possibly the toughest sporting event of them all, the Tour de France flags off today. Different each time. Yet similar in its 23 days. And its unflinching demand. If you don’t believe me click on the link under “Route” and then “Route in a flash” above. 3569.5 km. 1 prologue. 20 stages comprising 11 flat stages, 6 mountain stages, 1 medium mountain range and 2 individual time trial ranges. And just to show that they have heart, 2 rest days through all that.

Lance Armstrong won it seven (that number again) consecutive times.lance21.jpg

They should’ve buried Lance Armstrong this time. They had him laid out like a yard sale on a Pyrenees road. Had him sick, white mouth and dizzy …. Had him scabbed and swollen, out of water and luck and hope. But they didn’t bury him. Couldn’t…

Armstrong and his son play a little game. Lance asks Luke, “What does Daddy do?” And Luke always answers, “Daddy makes them suffer.” But this tour was all about Armstrong’s suffering.

Diarrhea to start. Hideous road rash … {and} ripped flesh that made even the doctors’ faces go chalky. Killer hip tendinitis. A pileup during stage I that produced … and 18 inch tire track across his back. It got worse. In the brick oven heat of stage 12, Armstrong miscalculated how much water he would need and became so dehydrated he could barely keep the bike upright. He was dizzy, face beet-red and swollen, eyes bulging, a pasty white ring around his mouth. “That’s as close as I’ve come to just getting off the bike and quitting…”

That was Armstrong on the way to his fifth Tour de France victory.

As he says “Pain is temporary, it may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.”

Earlier post on Armstrong here.

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