Alright.... Discovery Team does just fine in the Vuelta TT - Tom Danielson did a smart ride and came in 5th place - two seconds ahead of Roberto Heras.... Nice going, Tom! It was kinda hard to see that Joseba Beloki had his rear wheel slip out on the first turn and he went sliding to the ground... Scary deja vu thing....
I had sat down late last night to write a bit about how the Discovery Team and Lance do have tons fans and friends in France, and that, for me, anyway, my comments go after the crappy French media. Yeah, I get emails from folks in France who hate Lance and believe nothing good, BUT, I get lots more from folks who remain as loyal as ever to Lance, and who do not believe what their own L’Creep says at all.
If you’ve been reading this blog, and/or reading my daily Tour reports on LanceArmstrong.com for the past three or so years, you know that the French people have been wonderfully warm, welcoming and helpful to me.... I’ve written about that many times, and if you’ve looked at the book I co-authored, Tour de France for Dummies, you will see in the Authors Dedications and Acknowledgements that I wrote this:
I would also like to thank the people of France and Belgium for their gracious hospitality and generosity every year. Thanks, too, for their unhesitating assistance during the times when I was hopelessly lost along the Tour route. Merci beaucoup por tout. Vive le Tour! (Even though some ding-dong proof-reader somewhere at Wiley changed it to “beaucomp” in the final wording for the book - and the Wiley Project Editor who spoke fluent French and didn’t catch it).
But the point is that my comments in the blog are not directed at the French people - many, many fans there like and respect Lance... Since my Blog Comments are turned off, I am going to include emails from two French people, both received after I started writing today’s post... One is from Christine, who I ran into a few times during the Tour this year, and one from Eric, who zings us pretty good, and says to everyone, hey - don't trash our whole country just because you are pissed at the media....
Quoted from Christine, writing from France:
“My young friend .... and I are Lance's most faithful French fans and I want
you to know that we are totally put off by the relentlessness of French
We believe there is a conspiracy against Lance which had been carefully
prepared and planned for a long time.
The French cannot stand to see an American win seven times their most
prestigious trophy while no French, and even European, rider will ever be
able to get close to this record.
The French cannot forgive Lance for being too good!
We love your blog and read it daily to keep ourselves informed on the latest
news about the Discovery Channel riders and their families. Thank you for
the numerous beautiful photos you so kindly share with all the fans.
Please tell us in what way we can help, from the French side, to support and
defend Lance and the team”.
Quoted from Eric, writing from France, in response to Ryan's email that was posted here:
“I'm French, and I just read some of your articles on your blog. I was really mad about the e-mail from Ryan. It's unbelievable to see what crazy bullshit american people can sometimes say about our country. You American guys especially...Unfortunately.
I'm not fond of cycling, but as everyone else, I heard the news about Armstrong's case. Actually I don't know the truth about Armstrong getting doped or not (although I've got my idea on this point...but it's nothing more than a personal opinion). I've got nothing to do with any of the French media you 're talking about in your blog, and to be honest, I don't understand why you feel yourself so often obliged to insult our country for whatever crappy reason.
When Ryan says that Armstrong raised much money for our "good old country", he should remember that the French Tour used to exist waaayyyy back before LA.... Maybe it's something new or unbelievable for him, but in France we don't need American dollars to live. I was laughing to death when I read that LA made us rich thanks to all the souvenirs he used to buy in France. Seriously, guys, seriously... Read your text twice before putting this on your blog....... LA eating "bad French food" ? C'mon, do you know there's a life after your crappy Mc Donalds ?????? I never heard that the USA were infamous for their outstanding cooking skills... LA "bolstering our economy" ? Seriously, man, who do you think you are ??? People who are actually bolstering our economy are all the French tourists that come to see the race, and not an american savior... If LA didn't make the French Tour, there would be as many people coming to see it, they just would see someone else win the race, as it was the case before LA's years, but of course you don't remember that...
If I were reacting like you, I would say that LA's a doped jerk, and since he's a doped jerk, the entire United States of America stink like you wouldn't know. And where would we go from here ?
But I won't. Wanna know why ? Cause I've got lots of American friends, and I'm proud of it. Like many other French people, I truly appreciate your contry that I visited twice. I've got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against American people. But what gives you such a bad reputation in the whole world is this silly habit to think that every population in the world owes you something.
Ryan doesn't remember of any "international cross-over hero" from France ? Do you remember this guy named Jean-Michel Bayle who beat the crap outta all your SX riders in the 90's ?? Shall I remember him what kind of crap we used to read about him in the US press at this time, just because US journalists were upset about the american defeat ? No, of course, it would hurt the hand-on-the-heart American pride... Jeeze, man... Once again, where do we go from here ?
I fully understand that LA's fans are upset about these accusations, but PLEASE don't take this as an excuse to vomit on my country, this is just childish... But American people are known to be childish, aren't they ? Aaahhh... reputations...
Thanks for your time...It had to be said.”
So different strokes from different folks.... We’ve now had a sample from the American point of view and from the French point of view - Just like religion and politics, nobody is going to change anyone else’s point of view on this subject... You all know exactly where I stand in support of Lance, so this blog is now gonna move on to other things....