Velogal's Blog

Monday, March 28, 2005

Monday morning Lance Armstrong Live Strong Sirius Radio report. Lance was in Belgium and Higgs was in Austin. They had problems with the phone connection in the hotel where Lance was staying in Kortrijk, I think. Lance said that he had just flown to Belgium the day before. He said there was a huge carnival outside, celebrating Easter, and he wished that his kids were there to see it.

Lance said that he felt better than at P-N, bit it was a rough transition back to the race scene after being sick. He said he was caught in a crash ( said yesterday that he had a puncture when he stopped), but Lance said his wheel was messed up and that’s why he had to wait for the wheel change. He talked about the Italian team car that almost hit him and said that his return gesture was the talk all over now. Said he hadn’t realized it was an Italian team car. (I saw him say something and raise his hand, but I wasn’t sure that he had given the one-finger salute or just a wave of his hand). However, I guess it was Texas sign language, and folks all over Europe are talkin’. Now I’m sure that Lance isn’t going to ride in Italy!

Sheryl was there and did her DJ thing - she said she is gaining all the weight that Lance is losing - Belgium is famous for french fries (frites), mayonnaise and beer. Sheryl said she and Odessa Gunn (former racer and Levi Leipheimer’s wife) have been doing a lot of riding. She said her recording of her new CD is finished, but the release is delayed until August or September, because she wants to be with Lance for the Tour de France.... because.... this may be the last one he does. Lance gave what sounded like some agreement to that statement in the background, but then kinda said one never knows....

Lance said he’ll be riding Paris-Camembert on Tuesday, and then Flanders, He said that P-C is hilly, hard, with short steep climbs on real narrow roads, that are worse than B-P. Lance said he’s done P-C 4 or 5 times and first did it in 1993. Lance said that George, after being sick for a week, was in the front most of the time at B-P and really surprised them - he said that George “is a machine”.

Lance congratulated Bobby Julich for his win at Criterium Internationale - he and Higgs want to have Bobby on the show. Sheryl played a cut from a Cracker album, and Lance said that he first saw Cracker in a concert in Austin when he was 18 or 19, and David Lowery played the whole set wearing only a Speedo and cowboy boots.

Lance took a some questions. One was about the lack of awareness about testicular cancer, and Lance responded that it is one of the more rare cancers, compared to other cancers such as breast cancer, but it is very curable. Problem is that it often occurs in young men from 15 to 35, and the stigma in talking about it often delays treatment and also awareness. Another question was what technology (since he started racing) has helped him the most, and his answer was the SRM that measures watts, instead of the older measurement of heart rate, etc. Also the light and lighter weights of bikes from when he started riding on 21 or 22 pound bikes.

Third question was did he see all the stuff that is painted on the roads at the Tour, like on Alpe d’Huez. Lance said that it is usually so painted over by multiple people that it is hardly legible. He said that the riders mostly see it on the evening television recap each night, when the overhead shots from the helicopters show the road painting. Higgs brought up the “Rip their balls off” sign on Huez last year. They joked that Higgs still had the white paint on his hands at the end of the stage.

Lance said that the sales of Live Strong yellow bands had reached 40 million about ten days ago. He said he saw them on the Belgian fans along the race route yesterday, and also saw other teams wearing them. Very cool for him to see that.

So Sheryl played some of her favorite songs and talked a bit about them. She played a cut from a Loretta Lynn and Jack White track. She and Lance joked about Loretta dragging Jack up on stage during the Grammies and how uncomfortable he is in the limelight. Sheryl thinks Loretta is a “cool lady”.

Sheryl played a couple more tunes that I missed ‘cause I was also figuring out my taxes, but it was a cool show and she will be doing the DJ thing again soon. Higgs was, as always, so cool and smooth on the show, and knows just the right moment to come in and say something, and how to keep the show moving along.

Just got an email from Bart, in Belgium, who sent a link to his shots of the Brabantse Pijl, with some shots of Lance. Check it out and thanks, Bart!


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