Being Lance…

…or aspiring to be like Lance.
These last three weeks of watching the Tour De France were simply amazing.
Lance Armstrong, back to win his seventh record setting Tour De France, was just an unconquerable force in the Tour. Looking at the man, it wasn’t all just brawn and power; it was strategic thinking and brain usage that also won the Tour for him.
It’s true that the guy is a freak of nature. You should see his power output on Lance Armstrong’s Website and note that he scores way above my average wattage output on any given ride. He has gone as high as 450 watts on a 30 min time trial, performed to predict his finishing time during the Tour. (It’s why one of my goals is to see how close I can get to his power output…before I die….! But also, one aspect that is also important is his power to weight ratio, so being about 157 lbs. I am about 6 lbs lighter than him…helps a little but not much in reaching his power to weight ratio.) He can definitely generate more power on the bike than just about anyone else out there today.
However, it isn’t just raw power which lets him win. He paces himself, notes who are the true rivals from a time perspective, and rides to keep ahead of them, knowing that he probably could win the entire Tour without dominating a single stage. This knowledge of how the game is played and strategizing around how the Tour is won, which makes him unique amongst the other cyclists. He uses his brains as much as his power to win the Tour.
Yes we can all look at the controversy surrounding the guy. Arrogance, divorce, cancer, lazy this, not enough training that. What do you expect when the tabloids get hold of anyone?
We are all human. We have our foibles. Some of Lance’s are exploited by the tabloids and that sucks.
But I would argue that we all need more heroes. I push aside the controversies and think about what makes Lance great. I take his power output and make it my goal. I think about his conquering a health condition which could have killed him. I think about his melding of intelligence and strength to win the most prestigious bike race in the world. And I do see the unforgiving grimace on his face as he powers to the lead when I’m racing to the finish line. The mystique of Lance drives me and gives me something to aspire to, something impossible to strive for. Yes, Lance is human, but he is also my hero.
If only I could find a rock star girlfriend too….