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Lance Armstrong Responds to El Pistolero

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After torturing himself by riding his bike for three ↵weeks straight over two mountain ranges and the hot, flat plains of ↵France, Lance Armstrong is now kind of making you hate him by tweeting about lying on ↵the beach in the Bahamas, drinking beer, and being the wealthy, globe- ↵trotting man you so desperately want to be in between filing ↵expense reports and flossing your teeth. ↵

↵He did have one gripe, however: Alberto Contador's vow that he would ↵"never respect" Armstrong, the guy who helped him to a Tour win along ↵with the rest of the Astana team. Rather than waiting for a ↵sympathetic reporter to call for a quote or hitting up his PR agent, ↵Armstrong took the shortest point between himself and the public: ↵Twitter, aka the instant press conference one can hold while relaxing ↵shirtless by the Caribbean. From his Twitter feed: ↵

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↵⇥Seeing these comments from AC. If I were him I'd drop this ↵⇥drivel and start thanking his team. w/o them, he doesn't win. ↵⇥

↵⇥hey pistolero, there is no "i" in "team". what did i say in March? ↵⇥Lots to learn. Restated. ↵⇥

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↵Armstrong can be abrasive, annoying and all too happy to cloak ↵everything he does as having something to do with cancer. I'm having ↵this wine with Eddy Merckx in the name of fighting cancer! I'm not ↵racing for anything personal whatsoever, because of cancer? The answer ↵to any question you ask is CANCER. It can get repetitive and even a ↵bit grating, especially when an athlete with Lance Armstrong's ego ↵simply has to play a role in wanting to show he can still compete at ↵his age. (Which he certainly did, by any measure, in placing third ↵overall.) ↵

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↵He is correct about Contador, however: on Mont Ventoux, Armstrong rode ↵hard on Frank Schleck's wheel to protect his teammate, playing the ↵part of a seasoned domestique to perfection and helping Contador lock ↵up the yellow jersey on one of the Tour's most infamous climbs. Once ↵Contador proved to be the stronger rider, he played his role dutifully ↵and balanced his role as a team member and overall competitor well. ↵It's uncharitable and petty for Contador to disparage a guy who helped ↵him win a Tour, and who got politely out of the way once it was ↵apparent who the stronger rider was for 2009. If Armstrong can stay in ↵form for 2010 and exert any sway over the politics of the peloton next ↵year, Contador will feel the wrath of a wronged (if graying) Texan. ↵Just ask Fillippo Simeoni about that. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.