Whether it was the inevitability of increasing age or a long-overdue rebalancing by Lady Luck, Lance Armstrong’s attempt to win an eighth Tour de France ended Sunday with a tire puncture and multiple crashes. He rolled across the finish line in Morzine-Avoriaz twelve minutes after stage winner Andy Schleck, his jersey, hopes, and epidermis in shatters.
He now sits in 39th position overall, more than thirteen minutes behind leader Cadel Evans. “My Tour is finished”, he said afterwards.
We’ve seen Lance win the Tour de France seven times. We’ve seen him overcome staggering odds, both on the road and off. We’ve seen psychological domination and gamesmanship that devastates his opponents. We’ve seen him become both a commercial and a non-profit juggernaut. Now we get to see something new.
We get to see him as a humble teammate.
There might be no better way to finish his racing career than to help ride newly anointed team leader Levi Leipheimer to a win in the overall classification.
C’mon, Lance. We’re still pulling for you.