Tour de France 2010: Rest Day #2: Lance Armstrong vs Jens Voigt

UPDATE: Via @Cycletard the assault that followed Stage 16 is now known as Lance Ragegate and can be followed on Twitter with #lanceragegate END UPDATE

Related: Lance RageGate and Tour de France 2010: Stage 16, Rest Day #2

‘Member the other day when Lance tried to put on his Big Boy Pants and win a stage, but didn’t have the strength, speed or stamina? Remember how obviously upset he was?

I mean, not just bummed, but seriously hurt. It really looked like it was devastating to him.

He came into this Tour believing that he had an honest shot at winning it all, then he finds out he doesn’t have what it takes to win even just a tiny piece of it (no matter how the butt-licking media tries to make it look like his performance was and continues to be one for the ages).

It was clear from his post-stage interview that he was barely keeping his emotions chained, though I’m not sure exactly what he was feeling. It was probably a mix of things.

First anger, because Lance is perpetually angry about something or at someone, especially since nothing is ever his fault, which makes it soooooooo annoying that the entire rest of the world is populated by screw-ups and assholes. Poor guy.

Second, humiliation, partly from within as the realization finally hit him that he’s fallen hard and far, partly from without (at least in his perception) as he imagined the whole world laughing at him (and while there are a good many people rejoicing at his fall, I don’t think many at all really laughed).

Third, frustration over seeing his planning and training come to nothing.

Fourth, his natural childishness at anyone’s nerve in not conceding his greatness and falling to pieces, leaving him to snatch the day’s glory to his breast. That is to say, at least part of the roiling emotions eating him up that day came down to a pure tantrum.

And that’s a lot of what we’re about to see in this next video clip.

Lance, cruising his bike back to the team trailer, awash in all of those emotions, the anger, the humiliation, the frustration, the immaturity induced tantrum.

There’s more, but I’ll get to that after you watch the video.

Did you hear the people clapping and cheering? Did Lance hear that and take it as laughter? Laughter directed at him as penalty for his failure? Or did it make him bitter because they were applauding his greatness and he is clearly great no more?

So he’s meandering his way back to the bus and this poor old guy in the white shirt happens into his path. The guy wasn’t being a jerk. He wasn’t even hogging the road, as he stuck politely and tightly to one side.

But Lance just saw a target and as he went by he actually leaned toward the guy to shoulder him into the fence (did you get a feeling of deja vu as you remembered the LiveClean Devil Lance shoved into the snowbank last year?). To add insult to injury, Lance turns around and flips the guy off.

Classy, Lance, really classy. It’s also another example of how Lance behaves when he thinks the cameras aren’t on him.

Kind of makes you feel sorry for Team RadioSkank’s Merry Band of Slaves, doesn’t it?

But did you notice what was happening when Lance reached the bus? Ok, yeah, he was getting pushy, telling people to leave him alone, but did you really SEE him? He was as close to tears as a man can be without breaking into sobs.

And that’s not something I in any way want to ridicule. I understand that he was feeling devastated and I sympathize.

But does that excuse his abuse of some poor guy who did nothing but politely share the path home with him?

Lance got off free and clear after his assault of the LiveClean Devil. I hope this guy presses charges and takes Lance’s a** to court, both civil and criminal.

Things go bad for Lance and he takes his toys and runs home. Screw Levi Leipheimer, the team’s best remaining GC threat, let him fend for himself. If Lance isn’t gonna win it all then who gives a shiite about anyone else?

And now we come to our contrast: Saxo Bank’s Jens Voigt.

Read this article and watch the accompanying videos.

Jens is a great guy who doesn’t know what “give up” means.

Last year he crashes out with face and head injuries and before he’s even out of the hospital he’s thinking about how he can reach out to his fans.

This year he comes in from a stage where he’s just suffered another massive crash, rode maybe 20 km on a kid’s bike with toe straps, and he’s joking about what happened and genuinely thankful just to be able to continue racing.

Jens has never known one tenth the glory that Lance Armstrong has known, but he’s ten times the man that Armstrong is.

Just for the heck of it visit with Jens in his hotel room.

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