The Move: Lance Armstrong -Portland Bicycling Club

The Move: Lance Armstrong

I know some of you have great disdain for former bicycle racer Lance Armstrong. You may have found his personality and ego grating, and then there was the whole performance-enhancing-drug debacle.

For those of you who can forgive and/or give a second chance, Lance is back with a podcast which I shared previously a year or so ago. During the Tour de France he would broadcast online daily and recap the events with guests who also had great insights into what was going on. It was fascinating.

Then comes 2020 and there are no spring classics or big tours, at least not yet. So, Lance, George Hincapie, JB Hager and Johan Bruyneel are going back to relive some of the oldies. I watched them critique excerpts of the Tour of Flanders from 1985, 1995 and 2005. George declared the 1985 riders to be the “gladiators of cycling.” In ’85 and ’95 I don’t think I even knew those races were occurring much less did I watch them or probably have any means to watch them if I had wanted to.

I really found it interesting to learn about some of the competitors, the terrain, the local hero, the history, and to gain a little more understanding of the intricacies of the race. George and Lance participated in 1995, Lance as a domestique. He noted that proves he could do more than just suck a wheel! George described Tour of Flanders as “the hardest one-day race in the world.”

Additionally, seeing the differences between the three decades was mind boggling. The clothing, the gearing, the equipment (no clipless pedals in ’85), and the weather really make for a stark comparison.

The second show focused on the 1994 and 2005 Paris Roubaix classics. This route is quite flat, but the cobbles are rougher. Hincapie stated that you know going in that you will crash. And in 1994 most were not wearing helmets. Also, this classic ends in a velodrome. The foursome had invited one of the 1994 contenders, Andrei Tchmil, as a special guest; and his observations also added depth to the commentary. They were in French, but there were subtitles.

The Tour itself may be an August event this year, and the classics might take place in the fall if the pandemic abates sufficiently. In the meantime, these shows are a lot of fun.

THEMOVE 2020 Best of Tour of Flanders is on YouTube with over 44,800 views as this is written. (It is best viewed but can also be listened to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Google Play and Facebook.) I encourage you to watch them all.

Ann Morrow, Recording Secretary