• Lance Stories

    by  • February 16, 2011 • too random • 3 Comments

    Lance retired. Had to see that coming. Rather than post on what it mean, I’d like to hear your Lance stories. We’ve all run into him over the last 20 years and so you have to have some good stories. Here is mine.

    Lance, Yates, and my Ex-Wife
    In 1995 I was married, at the tender age of 24 to my college girlfriend. She was from Scotland so after the wedding we went to spend a few months in the UK and Ireland. This is one reason i think the UK is a general cesspool, and also why i can do a killer Glasgow accent.

    Le Tour was running through the UK that year and it gave me a great chance to go check it out. We were staying in London when it passed through Portsmouth so we got a train down for the morning and saw it take off and leave from the main town. I think we spend the intervening hours at a pub in Portsmouth since drinking is really the only thing to do in Britain.

    After the race finished we were loitering around the finish line. This was pre-tour Lance so the teams were just grabbing their food and eating in a big field that was right next to their busses while their mechanics etc loaded everything up for the ride back across the channel. There were big crowds at the finish, since Sean Yates, one of a handful of English riders in the tour, was close to taking the yellow jersey. I saw George Hincapie, whom I nominally knew from racing in New York, walking with Yates, Armstrong and a few other guys to a spot in the field with their musettes.

    I talked to George briefly, who introduced me to Lance (who was nice), and a few other guys riding for Motorola whose names i don’t remember. I asked to take a picture of my wife (now ex-wife) with Yates, since my brother in law (ex-brother in law) had been cheering for him so heartily. I figured a momento might continue his interest in Le Tour post England and I’m nothing if not an evangelist.

    We took the picture, said our goodbyes, and high tailed it out of that crappy little town on the next train to London. I got the pictures developed at a pharmacy soon as we got back to London to see if any of my race pictures, taken with a old school real film camera, turned out ok.

    This was pre-digital of course so I probably had to wait a few hours while they made the prints. When i got the photos back the Yates/ex-wife picture was the clear winner. Yates hand was clearly grabbing my ex-wife’s posterior. There was not doubt, his hand was in the wrong place and i caught it on camera. The odd thing was she never said anything. I suppose it all worked out for the best. I still dig the photo up when other cyclists come over for dinner. It gets a good laugh.

    Oh yeah… did i mention? Lance was there too.

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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com

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    3 Responses to Lance Stories

    1. February 16, 2011 at

      My Lance story:
      In 2001, I took a bicycle tour that followed the Tour de France. For the TT from Grenoble to Chamrousse, I was at the point where the course transitioned from gentle rollers to a long uphill. This is where some of the riders took off their TT helmets. When Lance took his off, he held it out toward me, hoping I would grab it. I was too busy taking a photo to comply, so another spectator 10 yards up the road got it. Here is the photo I took:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettlau/2698272542

      A longer version of this story is here:
      http://home.comcast.net/~garrett95/TdF_diary2.htm

    2. Roman
      February 16, 2011 at

      At the 2009 Tour of the Gila, Floyd and I were taking turns attacking up a long climb in the middle of the race. We were doing this mostly to harrass the Livestrong kids who were on the front riding for Armstrong and company. As I was coming back to the field I rode next to Lance. Clearly irritated with us he said “you better save your matches for later in the race.” Remembering that I had read something like this: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/966534/lance_armstrong_is_top_residential.html

      I responded, “you should learn to save your water.”

      He gave me a confused look and said nothing. Later Floyd told me that Lance approached him after the race to explain what I meant.

    3. Nick T
      February 16, 2011 at

      1992 Olympic Trials in Altoona, PA.

      After the trials were all said and done, me and my friend went to a local bar to swig back a beer or two, but came upon a small confrontation before I could get to the beer.

      The door at the bar was guarded by the cliche mullet-head, Poison t-shirt wearing local who was in an argument with a wanna-be patron. That that wanna-be patron was Lance, screaming, “Don’t you know who I am?! Don’t you know who I am?!” Mullet-man’s response was in accordance with the law, and and aligned with the Lance’s level of fame in 1992, which was, “No, I don’t know who you are, and it doesn’t matter because you’re only 20 so you can’t come in.”

      Clearly Lance’s ego back then was destined for greatness, even though at the time that greatness was not recognized by mullet-man.

      One way or another, he went on to win 7 Tours, but I got into that bar that night and had nearly 7 beers.

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