Lance Armstrong Blows Away Rivals on Day One of Last Tour
Armstrong hammers major rivals (Bangkok Post)
This is going out on a limb, but Lance Armstrong might already have won his seventh consecutive and last Tour de France–on the very first day. Armstrong crushed his main rivals in an opening time trial on Saturday, opening up large time gaps that could carry him through to victory at the finish in Paris on July 24, when he plans to retire.
A bad crash, an uncharacteristic drop in his devastating form, and the sheer unpredictability of a race that covers 3,608 kilometres (2,254 miles), the Alps and Pyrenees over three weeks could still conspire against the defending champion, whose six titles are the Tour record. But this much is clear: Armstrong’s challengers will need the race of their lives to catch him and– if previous years are any guide–that still may not be enough.
This is a long race and many things can happen, to be sure. What’s remarkable is that Armstrong has been a come-from-behind winner in recent years, allowing his rivals to tire themselves out during the time trails before smoking them in the mountains. If he’s dominating already, he may have his best Tour ever.