has certainly cemented his stature in US sports history with his 6th consecutive win. But the most exciting part of a relatively routine Tour de France is Armstrongs actions in 2 of the final 3 legs with a little known rider named Simeoni.
Simeoni, in prior years, has been very vocal about drug use and personally called out Armstrong in 2002. Armstrong, not one to forget a slight, left the main peleton on Friday when word filtered back that Simeoni had been part of a breakaway with 6 other bikers. Armstrong, entirely out of character, left his teammates and the peleton a rode to the lead pack.
While obviously having a discussion with him it became clear that Lance was not going to leave the breakaway as long as Simeoni was up front. By doing this, Lance may have made this his most personal win. With Lance up front, the riders close in the standings could not afford to lose more time and Armstrongs teammates, as well, would have to come up front to protect their captain. This disturbed the riders in the breakaway, especially when Lance decided to not only take the lead, but start pushing them faster. After another discussion Simeoni decided to drop back to the peleton and let the others resume the breakaway.
Now that is heady stuff. Happened again yesterday. On two occasions Simeoni lead the final stage and both times a Lieutenant from the Postal Team went up front and "gently" informed Simeoni to fall back in the pack and not to attempt a stage victory.
It is a great accomplishment and this win was by his biggest margin. He truly is an athlete you can respect for the grueling endurance this race presents. To think about 7 or so years ago he was given a 50-50 chance to be alive.
Armstong deserves all the praise he has earned it.