140th But Not Least...

SC refuses to be the only website that mentions cycling but doesn’t mention the extremely poor quality of Armstrong’s Paris-Nice prologue performance. 140th and dropping 27 seconds in a 4k prologue? Yes, that’s bad, and Armstrong has said as much, pointing to the fact that it’s his first race of the season. Bruyneel was on the same wavelength in his home Belgian press, if seemingly a little more bothered by it.

But it isn’t just that it’s bad--it’s that it’s suspiciously bad. Like trying too hard to be bad, or maybe trying to be really bad to cover what might have just been bad. Or being bad to cover up being good too early. Who knows?

But everything around Armstrong is about suspicion, about the chance that he may be bluffing. Or not. People were suspicious when he said he wouldn’t ride the Tour de France this year, and now, according to Armstrong, they were right to be. Credit prologue winner Jens Voigt (CSC) with being the first to buck the trend and go the other way. According to cyclingnews.com, Voigt told the Berliner Morgenpost that “Basso can win the Tour. And especially because, I still don't believe that Lance Armstrong will participate. Lance knows that his streak won't last forever. And he sure doesn't want to finish in second place. If he does start, then he will win the Tour again with five minutes advantage. But I just don't believe it."