|ESPN.com: 2009||[Print without images]|
The nugget I couldn't fit into the column on Lance Armstrong's remarkable attempt at an eighth Tour de France victory was that he might just try for a ninth.
"I'm finding out how hard it is to be away for four years," he said as he was being massaged in his room in Montpellier, France after Stage 4. "You can train all you want, but there's nothing like racing shape. That's why, if I did it next year, I'd potentially be better than I was this year."
So will you try again next year?
"Haven't decided yet," he said.
Love him or loathe him, you have to admit that Armstrong is a hope machine for those fighting cancer worldwide. As part of this comeback, he's ridden in Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and France, raising billions in guarantees from corporations to fight cancer. He's kept his Livestrong foundation in the black while so many other charities are down. They haven't had to fire a single employee. And don't forget, he's the only rider in the Tour riding for free.
For Armstrong, it's not just about the bike. It's also about the bracelet.