Armstrong wins ATX flat stage; overall still in doubt

October 19, 2012 § 17 Comments

7-time Tour strippee Lance Armstrong stormed across the finish line in Austin, Texas tonight, showing flashes of the combativeness that made him the most feared competitor of his era, but doing little to dent the commanding lead taken in the previous mountain stage by USADA.

“The team was there for me when it mattered,” said an obviously knackered Armstrong. “And now…let’s have a helluva good time tonight!”

Surrounded by his teammates, most of whom have been at his side for each of his previously stripped Tour non-victories, the mood was defiant, even though the win in Austin took back only fifteen seconds from USADA’s overall advantage of more than ten minutes.

Teammate Gerry Goldstein, a criminal defense lawyer who has had his hands full of late, gave a blunt response to reporters after the stage who questioned how Goldstein could support someone whose charity was built on the back of history’s greatest sporting fraud. “I’m a big fan of what he has done. Overcoming cancer and doing what he did, who gives a fuck about anything else? That’s so much more important as a role model and a human being. Quit whining about it. This is the 21st Century. The ends justify the means.”

Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who donated a pair of cleats to the silent auction, said he wants to continue supporting Livestrong. “Obviously, some things have a left a little scar, but people think it’s still important to come out and support Livestrong,” Guthrie said. “Charles Manson left scars too, but you know what? He’s helped a lot of people through his Minister for Life Prison Ministry.”

Experts question whether there are enough stages left for an Armstrong comeback

“They’ve only got two big mountain stages left,” said veteran race strategist Betsy Andreu. “The UCI stage into Aigle, and the Livestrong stage. He’s got strong teammates for the Aigle stage in McQuaid and Vergruggen, but USADA’s beefed up its mountain team this year with that 1,000-page dossier, eyewitness testimony, and the three new riders from Lausanne, Padua, and Montreal.” [Ed. note: Andreu was referring to the three new team USADA signings of Jean-Paul Cas, Benedetto Roberti, and Emilio Wada.]

USADA refused to say the race was over, pointing to Armstrong’s history as a 7-time strippee. “He’s the favorite. We’ve done our best. The hay’s in the barn, as G$ would say. All we can do from here is race smart and hope our team does what it’s been hired to do.”

Armstrong saw it differently. “It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation.”

When asked if this is the toughest race he’s ever ridden, Armstrong smiled wryly. “I’ve been better, but I’ve also been worse. ‘Unaffected’ was probably not the best choice of words,” he added, referring to a tweet immediately after USADA attacked on the lower slopes of the Col d’Lifetimeban, which put the cycling star into difficulty without obvious recourse to his stalwart suitcase, which former teammates now claim contained something stronger than courage.

Livestrong stage could be pivotal

If Armstrong manages to regain time in Monday’s stage into Aigle, commentators believe that the race will boil down to the final mountaintop finish on Plateau d’ViveForte. “Even if he takes back five, six minutes, it will still be extremely difficult on the final stage,” says crisis management expert Bud Packington.

Adds Packington: “His key climbing allies have either crashed out or have gone home in the broom wagon for finishing outside the time limit. Nike, Trek, SRAM, Anheuser-Busch, all gone, and Oakley getting shelled with every acceleration. Who’s he got left? Robin Williams?”

Smedley Turkins, brand manager for Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, and Charlie Hustle, concurred. “Read his statement when he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong: ‘To spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.’

“What the fuck does that mean? It’s an admission that the controversy has affected Livestrong. Fine. What negative effects, and spare the foundation from what? The impact hasn’t been financial; donations have actually increased since he walked away from arbitration. It hasn’t been legal; no one’s suing Livestrong for fraud. Yet. What’s left? It’s the negative effect on the board from all the people who support and fund the organization who are saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We will not have the organization we cherish headed by a cheat.’ For now it’s a shrill voice, it’s a minority, and it’s only within the organization. But if he gets creamed at the stage going into Aigle, if McQuaid and Verbruggen crumple and fold, then that internal dissension will increase. He’ll risk going from chairman to board member to out the door. This was a prophylactic feint, and it’s a hint of things to come.”

It ain’t over ’til it’s over

“Don’t you believe it,” laughed George Hincapie when asked about Armstrong’s prospects for the remainder of the Tour. “He’s toughest when cornered. He’s got options galore.”

When pressed, Hincapie said this: “He’s going to confess. It won’t be a full confession, and it will be carefully worded by the leadout train. Herman will string it out in the last 3k, Fabiani will get him to the last kilometer, and Garvey or Ullman will deliver him to the final 200 meters. It will be a polished, nuanced admission that doesn’t even admit to much. You’ll see.”

Others were less sanguine. Joe Papp, CEO of Felons for Clean Sport, was tersely dismissive. “Never happen.”

Tardstick Ludington, loathesome Internet troll, was even more direct. “Wankmeister is a sociopath bully who lives in his parents’ basement,” he said in between electroshock treatments.

Before getting on the team bus, which was being pelted by angry Canadians who’d paid $35,000 apiece to be dropped and insulted by Armstrong on his annual “Jocksniffer Special” to Lake Louise, he evaluated his prospects thus: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

Then he climbed aboard the bus, with not so much as a smidgeon of egg on his face.

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§ 17 Responses to Armstrong wins ATX flat stage; overall still in doubt

  • Ralph Hartman says:

    You messed up and forgot about the 9:30 time bonus that was given by Heinous Vergruggen after Lance’s last minute $500,000 contribution to the “Save Pat’s and Heinous’s Jobs” PAC. (That’s $1k for each of the drug tests Lance passed). It’s anybody’s race now

    • Admin says:

      That time bonus was erased by new teammate Kathy Lemond, who attacked in a depo and brought back McBruggen in the toughest part of the climb.

  • Joe Yule says:

    Now that’s good read’n Tex!

  • David says:

    Funny if someone didn’t post a link to your shit website you wouldn’t not have had some many comments. Not link no comments except mommy and daddy pretending to be readers.
    Find a job yet you waste of flesh?

    • Admin says:

      Okay, team, he’s back! Again without spell check, or perhaps “wouldn’t not” and “had some many comments” is the kind of dumb-ism that Tardstick thinks is proper grammar. So, let’s get this straight. You are so disgusted by this place that you can’t stay away? Do you also eat your own shit?

      Also, several people have emailed wanting to know a little more about your cycling and personal background. I’ve told them this: Fat slob with hairy buttcrack, too cheap to buy bibs so rides around with disgusting posterior dragging over the back of his saddle; you know, the guy on the ride no one wants to be within 300 yards of.

      Race history: Once tried a citizens race sponsored by Lance Armstrong, quit after getting dropped on the first lap, told all his colleagues (before he got fired) that he’s a “bike racer.” Bought three cases of Livestrong bracelets thinking he’d “make a killing” when their value skyrocketed in a few years. All his non-riding/non-racing acquaintances think he’s really into cycling, but the people he runs into on the road classify him as a total hazard. Too frightened to race, but follows all the news, loves to armchair quarterback the Tour, Giro, Roubaix, Flanders.

      Personal characteristics: Beats off twice monthly to “Canadian Bacon Porn” web site or oftener if he can get a stiffie three times a month. Single. Bathes once in spring, once in summer.

      Hobbies: Trolling Wankmeister’s blog comments section. Loves the attention, is impressed with self that 150 whole people, who he actually believes WM’s parents (Turdnoggin’s not got the biology thing figured out yet), have read his comments. Is thinking about writing a book just as soon as he learns his first word with more than two syllables.

      Goals in life: Spelling and grammar. One day he wants to complete a sentence that doesn’t look like it was penned by, well, him.

      Zodiac: Tardus.

      • David says:

        Good thing mommy and daddy help you with your grammar. You must love have them to clean up your room and make your lunch.
        Didn’t answer me yet….find a job you unemployed wanna be cool guy “cyclist” or are you still sucking societies tit you waste of air.
        Get mommy to post a responses for you.

  • steven says:

    Dang, WM!! Whatcha *really* think?

    Addendum under Race History: Shows up at crits in full kit so folks will think he raced. Will pin on a number if he finds one in the trash.

  • David says:

    Here we go…the bully won’t post this or answer my questions.

  • steven says:

    To “David”:

    Really…very entertaining stuff you write, man! Keep posting, ok? You said he wasn’t going to post something on another thread too…but he posted them all? Can’t wait to read your next reply!

    • Admin says:

      Tardstick is such a fucking goofball. He’s the funniest thing on this whole blog. I got a text today from a buddy asking if he was real, or if I was just making him up for laughs. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted!

    • David says:

      To Steven,
      Are you a biker to? Whatever you say lance may cheater but I’ve cheated and lied a lot so how can I be any better? Cheting and lying is just life. I have tried bike racing and I could have won I’m a WINNER your assholes. You’ll never see me again at this DUMBSITE witch is a site for dumpies get it hacha!

      • steven says:

        David,
        I think you threatened to leave before also. But we hope you stick around and offer more of your lucid insights on sport…and life itself!

        Thanks again!

  • honest person says:

    George Hincapie is a cheater. His net worth is estimated at $40 million. Most, if not all, of this is “stolen” money. I know he is a nice guy, but I think he should donate all of the money he stole. There are plenty of honest people who he could choose to give it to.

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