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Lance Armstrong in His New Radio Shack Duds

So I was just perusing the internet and I came across this image of old Lance Armstrong in his new radio shack duds. Now, looking at this picture, I have to confess that I am charged with a lot wild and contradictory emotions. For one thing, I have to think how great it is that Lance is once again the undisputed leader of a team (which he pretty much always has been since the Skittles days...unlike LeMond who had to battle for the title of team leader with the likes of Hinault...but I guess you can't fault Armstrong for always being the top dog...he pretty much always has been).

Now, although Contador pretty much definitively prooved that he was the strongest man last year, I'm not so sure that Armstrong can't yet steal a victory in this greatest of races. The things to remember are that last year Armstrong had a nasty crash that severely hindered his training. In fact, there was even talk that Armstrong might not race the TDF at all (and this wasn't Lindsey Vonn bullshit "false injury" stuff, Armstrong was truly banged up). Even though he did bounce back into shape in true Armstrongian fashion, I think the couple seconds he spoted to Contador here and there might have well been at least partially attributable to the injury.

So let's assume that Armstrong is going to be a little healthier and faster this year. What other advantages does he have? Well, simply the fact that he is now the leader of his team and his indominable will is something Contador won't be able to match even if he lives to be a thousand. Armstrong's got that peloton boss mentality that nobody's had since...well...Hinault, and it's the type of thing that allows a slightly weaker rider to win the race (see Hinault ordering the clearly stronger LeMond back in 1985). Obviously Armstrong won't be ordering back Contador, but it's one of those mass psyche of the peloton type things. The peloton will know they can chase down Contador without retribution, if they chase down Armstrong, they know he's going to make them suffer somehow.

You might be laughing, but I seriously think these mental games are going to play a huge role in the 2010 TDF, and I also think Armstrong has a great chance to win this (and obviously he does too since otherwise I doubt he'd be forming his own team and saddling up). It's going to be fun to watch.

Oh, and by the way, I talked about conflicting emotions before...the conflicting one is that although I'm happy to see Armstrong on his new team, I can't help but think how ugly, bland, complacent, and horrible that Radio Shack Jersey is. Seriously, I have almost zero respect for people who design bike jerseys...the CyclovaXC jersey is going to blow this crappy Radio Shack jersey right out of the water.

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