Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Majesty of Lance

For the record, I'm not the biggest fan of Lance Armstrong. That said, and to quote from that woman in that play by that guy, "Attention must be paid."

The Majesty of Lance is not necessarily gleaned through traditional standards of measurement. I would use the word 'metrics' there, but I loath it. Likewise, 'granular' when it comes to talking not so much about sugar but, rather, things related to business.

Case in point, the man's sprint a couple of stages ago across the gap from the chase group to la tete de la course. Bruneel shouting into his radio, "Lance is coming. Lance is coming alone." And so he was.

Sadness too is a part of the scene. Watching the guy huff and puff on the final individual time trial--once an event he dominated so much that he, starting last (as befits the leader), pulled in and passed the guy in front of him, arch-rival Jan Ulrich who had started two minutes earlier, going by him like a missile. And Ulrich was the second best rider in the world at the time. Compared to that Lance, this one's a frail old man. There's a Lear thing going on these days with Lance.

I write this not yet having seen the battle to the top of Mont Ventoux. I leave now to do so, to watch Lance howl at the storm, with the hope that something wonderful happens but the suspicion that it won't.

At this point, it's preordained. The die is cast. The roles are set. The players now tumble towards their fates. It is, I suppose, a tragedy.
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, and germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

Winds at the top of Mont Ventoux are reported to exceed 40mph. Plus there's a forest fire about 20 clicks away.
Rumble thy bellyful? Spit, fire? Spout, rain!
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription: then let fall
Your horrible pleasure: here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man:
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high engender'd battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!
The roles of Goneril and Regan will be played today by Alberto Contador.

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