Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lance Armstrong in Cape Town, South Africa - all the news, pictures, tweets

Malcolm Lange wins the Argus! This was my day in the front..

LIVESTRONG BLOG: Cape Argus Cycle Tour Race Day

Armstrong the Audacious
Note: not a bad article from Andrea Nagel, although she writes about Live Strong...which means either the sub on this story is an idiot living in a cyclist free world, or Andrea Nagel doesn't really know much about Lance or cycling...This is why you need people who do the sport and know the sport to write about it.

So great that Lance has taken a young South African rider under his wing. Daryl is hungry, and can only perform well in such an expert outfit.

@lancearmstrong: Cracked up when the guy yelled out to me in Afrikaans, "ride your bike old man!!". Haha.


Armstrong turns Argus into 'Yellow Zone'

New York Times: Armstrong Plans to Add Milan-San Remo on March 20 to his schedule

@Bicycling_SA Awesome interview with Lance. He really is so inspirational! Great banter between Daryl Impey, Lance and Phil Liggett.

@Bicycling_SA Everyone talking about the importance of health - in your diet and in sport.

@Bicycling_SA The speaches have started. Rob Louw is now speaking. Lance's helicopter has just arrived.

@Bicycling_SA At the Lance breakfast. Awesome venue. In a bedouin tent on the grounds of Constantia Uitsig. Very posh. Bicycling as got a great table!

From IOL: Lance shows he means business

The legend spoke frankly yesterday about his childhood, growing up with a "tough mother" and not knowing his father, and how 13 years ago he became sick and was diagnosed with cancer. He said these were obstacles he had needed to overcome and was able to, because of his love for the sport.

Speaking to the Cape Argus, he said Cape Town was "lovely".

"We set out on a three-hour ride along the seaside, Chapman's Peak - it was absolutely stunning."

NOTE: Lance is competing in the Argus but there are security concerns regarding which group he should ride in - understandably so.

Bicycling editor Mike Finch describes the experience riding with Lance yesterday...

Meeting Lance, watching him ride and realising that perhaps
I may be watching the greatest cyclist of all time was a privilege on its own. He is a shorter man than I expected with a strange body shape that makes his torso seem taller and legs seem somewhat shorter. He possess that greatest of cycling physical attributes – that of a longer femur and shorter calf and pedals with such ease that it is unlikely he was ever breathing heavy. Most distinctive are those muscular legs which are laced with bulbous veins and a leanness and strength that only great athletes possess.

The pace itself was not slow. An average speed of 33km/h was attained and perhaps the only disappointment came at the end. As the group entered the Arabella resort, Armstrong and his handlers pulled him back and, while the rest of us finished in front of the hotel to dry towels and a big welcome, Lance carried on down the road to his own accommodation. For many, it was disappointing that he had not finished with us, perhaps shared in the celebration of a challenging but successful ride and perhaps posed for a picture or two.

Note: Finch goes on to ponder why, at the end of the ride, Lance doesn't hang around with people who have paid so much to be part of the experience. My gut says to me, when you're travelling to a foreign country [as I did in Australia a few weeks ago] your energy is drained by a combination of flying, jetlag, booking in and out of hotels, and the pitfalls, delays and drama that go along with that. If you're a professional athlete, staying fit but also healthy is important, and while it may not seem so, hanging around and making speeches and giving people their experience with you has got to deplete your energy.

Note that the first thing Lance did was go cycling on his first morning in South Africa. That was his priority. When he rode with the group, he'd also ridden 3 hours previously - thus the emphasis [for him] is on cycling, getting the training in. Obviously he doesn't have an anal focus on cycling, there's the cancer support. So I think one has to bear this in mind. There are hordes out there that want a piece of him, and he is trying to remain functional and healthy, and still get his 6 hours training in each day.

Read the rest here.

Lance- I wake up every morning worrying if I will be in best condition for The Tour, and it is this doubt that drives me to be my best! - from @andrewmclean

Below is the LIVESTRONG group entering Gordon's Bay. Sometime later the heavens opened and the riders were deluged in rain but no one seemed to mind...

Below is the Giro del Capo - follow Nic White's coverage @nicwhitecodotza or go here.
Btw that's Nic White doing a turn in the front in the picture below.

Latest from Lance [via @lancearmstrong, now with 2.45 million followers]:

@laylagrace passed away this morning. Wishing the family peace and strength [have a look at who laylagrace was]

Jaime Escalante-teacher from movie Stand and Deliver-dxd w/cancer. Still fighting and inspiring in face of adversity

Done w/ a nice 3hr ride. I've heard many times before that Cape Town is stunning. That was no lie. What a place. [Above]- Out for a gorgeous ride here in Cape Town w/ @darylimpey and Gary from @jagfoundation.

NOTE: Lance also posted a picture of extra pages added to his passport after the controversy:

Rules are rules
Airlines are responsible for checking passports - Home Affairs

SHOOT: I am gutted that I couldn't be in Cape Town, to do the Argus in the same year Lance is there, or simply cycling around roads that become hallowed [you know what I mean] with the world's greatest cycling legend around. Next best thing is to get all the photos and feedback - and the good news is, Lance says he intends to do the Epic, and be in South Africa 'often'. Let's hope so. I'll certainly be one of the enthusiastic kids on the road trying to share the phenomenon that is Lance Armstrong.

Andrew MacLean kept up a great commentary, possibly even better than Bicycling's...

clipped from
Today is the ride with Lance which 40 people have each paid R175,000 to be a part of. Mike Finch, Bicycling's Editor is one of the lucky ones joining the ride. Follow all the action of the day's events right here.

11h28: Lance is here. Like Andre said yesterday, he is much smaller than I expected, but legs packed with veins. He rode three hours with Daryl Impey etc on the way here.

11h28: About to get going. I dig his Mellow Johnny's saddle.

11h30: Ok, we are rolling. 60km to the first water point. I wonder how fast this will be?

11h43: Done about 5km, just outside Gordon's Bay. Lance and Daryl on the front - very chilled. Pace is very mellow (about 25kmph). Ntini making a lot of noise. Lots of people on the streets taking photos.

12h23: 20km in.... 80km to go. Just had my photo with Lance. We chatted a bit about the mag. He loves it and is a big supporter. He loves South Africa, says it's an absolutely amazing country.

13h20: Rain just started. But nearing the finish so all good.

14h40: Just got in now. We ended up doing around 75km. From the top of Rooi Els it bucketed down with rain. We are soaked! Luckily, there were no mishaps, but it was tough going in the hard, driving rain. Lance was offered to stop but he said no way and pushed through to the finish. He didn't finish with us though - he disappeared just before the end which was a bit disappointing. But what a great experience. He is a really great and down to earth guy. More later.

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Andrew Mclean [pretty good reporting!] on Twitter:

See this signed pic, I was sure I had him under pressure! ☺

Replica @lancearmstrong bike was auctioned R185 000.00 all this money was for a Great cause, The JAG foundation. Thanks-Well Done everyone

Auction: 1 ticket to the TDF everything included. You will also get to join a Team Radio Shack Team meeting. And it went for.....R205 000.00

Lance is bidding himself on a limited edition box of wines he signed! 6 bottles. R 56 000.00 so far all for the JAG foundation.

Lance just said one of his next goals is to participate in the Absa Cape Epic!

Phil- Lance how u going to win 2010 TDF? Lance- watch stage 3: in Northern France on the cobbles. (Pave) Contador will be exposed!

Lance being interviewed by Phil! Lance said- "I will be back in SA- often"

The indoor pool & gym whr Lance is staying! wht a facility! Daryl says "life is good when U roll with the big

At Arabella 4 the nite, it poured w/ rain the final Hour, nobody including Lance was worried! Now 4 sum R&R & then dinner w/ Lance and Daryl

#Livestrong yellow Peleton!

80km's done! Now for the REAL ride with Lance experience!

Some small adjustments being made on route!

Lance and Daryl setting the pace! [Above]

Lance's new Power meter- interesting!

Lance's Radio shack trek. About to leave with @lancearmstrong and @darylimpey. Lance asked for a tempo ride-

Off to ride with @lancearmstrong @darylimpey + Gary to the start venue 4 the Ride With Lance day! All kitted!

Lance and Phil doing a question and answer session! Excellent!

More Insights:

The Bicycling blogger has described Lance as a lot shorter and smaller than expected, less than 1.75m, but with big legs covered in veins. All have described Lance as down to earth and humble, and an inspiring speaker.

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