We’re well into the first week of the Tour de France. I really want to root for Lance Armstrong (rooting for Lance is about as American as motherhood and apple pie, after all), but he’s such a whiny and arrogant young man, I just can’t bring myself to do it. (Okay, maybe he’s more the quintessential American than I want to admit after all.) Well Lance was being Lance again this morning.
ESPN reported that Alberto Contador stopped over at the Radio Shack bus to give his former team mates their watches
… (at this point the story needs to be interrupted)
There’s a tradition that the winner of the Tour de France gives everyone on his team a watch at the next year’s tour. Contador, Lance Armstrong, and half the Radio Shack team rode for Astana last year. Lance didn’t have the stuff for the first two weeks of the tour and was clearly not in contention, but he did everything in his power to undermine Contador, who was the only Astana rider who was riding brilliantly. As a result Contador was completely marginalized by Astana but ended up winning the Tour without team support – a near impossibility. It makes Contador’s 2009 win one for the ages. (To be fair, Armstrong improved at the end of the race and came in third.)
Armstrong left the team in a huff (it clearly wasn’t his fault he lost – Contador refused to support him! – snivel, snivel) and went over to the newly formed Radio Shack team where he would be properly worshipped and pampered. Amazingly, Contador showed he was not only the consummate athlete but also the consummate team player and remained with Astana, even though they treated him like dirt while a half dozen other teams offered him fabulous deals to come over and ride with them.
In other words, if there was ever a year that the former winner’s team mates weren’t going to get a watch it was this year. What they deserved, at best, was a Mickey Mouse watch.
… now back to the story.
Contador, ever the Spanish gentleman, went over the Radio Shack bus and gave all his former team mates (that spurned him last year) their “hard-earned” watch.
ESPN reports that Lance didn’t bother showing up to get his watch.
Hisses to Lance Almighty and hoorays to Alberto Contador, who’s man enough to do the right thing.