Can Lance possibly lose today?

Please allay my fears.

The announcers keep talking about how Lance has clinched it, but we still have the stage to Paris. Is it in the bag or not? What if he crashes and can’t continue? Or whatever scenario is even worse than that.

Has anyone ever lost the TdF on the very last day?

(Obviously, I’m watching the tape.)

Now it is.

If he did crash out and couldn’t make it to the finish line, then yes, he would lose the race to Basso. In today’s slippery conditions, the race jury fixed the times for the GC on the first lap of the Champs D’Elysees to prevent such an occurrance. Still, Disco almost did have a crash just before entering the Champs, but no rider DNF’ed.

Yes. Most famously Greg LeMond beating Laurent Fignon on the last day in the '89 Tour by a scant 8 seconds. That was a bit of a special case, however, as the last stage was an individual time trial.

Thank you paperbackwriter. Big relief!

I don’t really mind learning in advance.

I missed the race itself and just watched the tribute show. Apparently, someone felt the need to attack and Lance and some others responded resulting in a crash. The instigator was later castigated by Basso. What was the deal, who attacked and why? What did Basso have to say to him? Thanks.

I think that passing the leader during that final leg is considered exceedingly bad form. As I understand it the last leg is a sort of advance victory lap. So Lance is it.

I watched the live broadcast. There were attacks - it is a competitive race after all - but they weren’t attacking Lance Armstrong personaly and there would seem no point in trying as he would have no need to respond. At the point where Lance was close to colliding with his own fallen team members, the pace was a little hot for the conditions and prompted a slowing by the whole field.

No, because someone will still win the stage (it won’t be Lance) and IIRC, the sprint jersey is still pertty close and could be decided. It would be bad etiquette for someone like Basso to attempt to beat Lance overall on the last leg. I think one of the reasons is that the final laps around the Champs Elysees can get pretty dicey, and no one wants the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place guys to be crashing all over the place trying to sprint to victory.

It may be bad form to pass Lance as they head into Paris, but once they start the laps around the Champs Elysees, get out of the way because the sprinters are going to be all over the place.

Right. I stated it wrong. You can win the leg but shouldn’t overtake the leader overall.

Well, it’s all over and he’s got 7 in a row.

Thanks, Lance.

Are you sure? I don’t think anyone usually bothers because the race is usually in the bag: the time difference is usually too great between the leader and the rest, so no one tries. But if (as could happen) the difference was such that the second placed rider (say) could realistically win and get the yellow, I don’t think they’d be expected to just give it away.

Actually you are both right. Today’s stage was both a race, and a victory lap. It was supposed to have two sprints races (green jersey) in th middle of the stage race. The second one was scheduled at the finish. Due to the wet weather, the second sprint was cancelled.
As far as the victory lap goes, if you watched OLN’s coverage they showed Lance dropping back and talking to the people riding in each of the other teams cars, as well as drinking champane, and riding with may of his main competitors and shaking hands.

Unfortunately not.

Well, there’s etiquette and there are rules. There’s no rule stopping someone from winning in the final stage, but the lead would have to be pretty close for someone to try. Delgado tried in '87 when he was only 40 seconds behind Roche, but he wasn’t successful.

OTOH, Ullrich was only 1 min 1 sec behind Lance in '03, and he didn’t challenge.

If you don’t mid answering, mhendo, why would you like to have seen Armstrong lose?

As in almost any sport, i find things get boring when one person or team dominates over a long period of time. Also, despite the fact that most serious cycling fans know that winning an event like the Tour de France is very much a team effort, only one person gets the credit, which i find rather irksome. This is especially true with many Americans and their adulation for Armstrong.

I realise that my position is not especially rational. But then, much of the support people have for professional athletes and sports teams isn’t really rooted in reason or logic anyway. My hope that Armstrong loses is no more or less irrational than your hope that he wins.

Well, mhendo, I’m a casual fan myself. Yet, I (and anyone else who listens half-heartedly) hear the announcers regularly giving credit to the teams in the Tour de France. One would have to be oblivious to watch a TdF and think that a cyclist wins such an event all on his own.

Ullrich has a team. Basso has a team. Rassmussen has a team. How many TdF’s have they won in total. One?

Lance Armstrong won 7 times, despite the fact that everyone in the cycling world was gunning for him, to say nothing of the cancer that almost killed him.

I respect that man at least as much as the French hate him. I do not begrudge any of his accomplishments. Quite to the contrary, in fact.

And I fail to see anything irrational about it.


Never said he wasn’t a good cyclist. Nor do i particularly care whether or not you respect him. That’s your business.

You asked me why i was hoping he didn’t win. I told you.