Thursday, July 29, 2004

Eh... snipes? Another post on Lance

Via Magnifisyncopathological I found this article in Slate, Tour De Lance - The international press snipes at America's superhero by Susan Daniels. She mentions four articles, but I can only agree on two of them, perhaps the third as well.

I grant the first and the second article, even though drug abuse story shouldn't be brushed aside too easily. His connections with Michele Ferrari is "fishy". I don't agree with La Tribune de Geneve's words, "Mankind is not fond of those who gorge themselves on success without suffering and without showing compassion for their fellows" and that it's applicable to Lance Armstrong. From what I heard, he gave the stage to La Mongie to Ivan Basso, because Basso's mother is suffering in cancer. Whether or not it's true, I don't know. Secondly, it really looked like he wanted to give the stage to Le Grande Bornand to his team mate Floyd Landis who did a terrific job for Lance on that stage (and on all the other stages as well). Thirdly, I can't imagine how the Geneva-paper's words match together with Livestrong and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

But I have doubts about the other two, it sounds more or less like shooting the messenger. I mean, you can't really blame Daily Post or Times for reporting on what the French people thinks about Lance Armstrong. But I might concede the point if the poll that the Daily Post mentions is staged in one way or the other, but then the French news paper who conducted the poll should be blamed (and I don't find it likely that it is staged).

According to cyclingnews.com, the Dutch news paper Trouw went along the same line as El Pais, questioning Armstrong's preparations. More headlines here. But I somehow feel that the claim that Europeans dislike Lance Armstrong is overexaggerated. As I pointed out a couple of days ago, the reason for the dislikening that do exist is not necessarily because he's an American. Daily Post claims that the French poll showed that the Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher was the most disliked sportsman in France, and Schumacher is, like Lance in the TdF, a little bit too good for the other contenders. If that is one of the reasons, then I would say it's flattering. Yet, the French footballer Nicholas Anelka recieved the second place, and I would guess it was because he's rather ignorant from time to time, so one shouldn't be too sure on how they depict Armstrong.

At the same time, the "war" between Armstrong and Simeoni that I mentioned in my post the other day rages on(scroll down a bit). But I don't think that dog will bark. It's time for them, Armstrong and Simeoni, to call it a day and move on.