Sunday, August 28, 2005

"Lance Boiled"

I'm not a big bike racing fan, but the achievements of Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France in recent years has taken the sport out of its niche audience. Winning the race an unprecedented seven times, Armstrong has become a household name while dominating a sport like no one else has in recent memory. That an American displayed such prowess on French soil is icing on the cake.

Geoffrey Wheatcroft has an interesting article today in Opinion Journal about the Tour de France, which ties up the French resentment of Lance Armstrong and the history of doping by contestants in the race in one neat package. Wheatcroft saves the best for last:

There may or may not be dirty tricks going on, but the French have never really come to terms with their eclipse in their own great race. More generally, France is going through a grave crisis of confidence, which takes political and economic expression--and sporting as well, with the French showing no sign of regaining their eminence in the Tour. Maybe life would be easier for them, and for all of us, if les bleus could win the soccer World Cup again next year.

Soccer is another sport that I don't follow, but I'll have a rooting interest against the French in the World Cup.

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