New Rule Shocks Riders, Delights OLN
Paris, July 18 (Fat Cyclist News Service / fatcyclist.com) – With just one week to go until Lance Armstrong will likely win an unprecedented seventh Tour de France, Jean-Marie Leblanc (Director General of the Tour de France) announced today that Armstrong will in fact be racing in the 2006 Tour.
"We discovered something truly amazing last week," said Leblanc, chortling and rubbing his hands together. "Do you remember the day Armstrong started the stage without his yellow jersey, to honor Zabriskie? We told him to put it on. He refused, until we said ‘It’s in the rules.‘ Voilá, he puts on the jersey."
"That was when we realized," said Leblanc, "We can make Lance Armstrong do anything we want … just so long as it’s in the rules." Continued the Tour Director, "So, starting today, the winner of the current Tour de France must race in the following year’s Tour."
"It’s only fair, really," said Leblanc. "This ensures that some racer next year won’t be left wondering, ‘Would I have won if Lance Armstrong were racing?’ The answer, of course, is ‘No, you wouldn’t have,’ but that’s beside the point."
Elite riders were uniformly shocked by this new rule, but tried to put a positive spin on it. Said perennial challenger Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), "This announcement gives me a chance to next year challenge and defeat Armstrong. I believe that next year T-Mobile will have as many as eight team leaders, so I’m sure our team will work together even better than we are this year."
Ivan Basso (CSC), third-place winner in the 2004 Tour and contender for the podium this year, said on hearing the new rule, "I am actually happy to be able to challenge Armstrong again next year. Eventually, whether it is this year, next, or sometime when he is in his mid-forties, I am certain I can beat him."
Nobody was more surprised by this new rule, however, than Armstrong himself. "I’ve got to do this again? Isn’t seven times enough?" Said Armstrong. When one journalist said he could work around the rule by intentionally losing the Tour, Armstrong said dismissively, "Yeah, sure."
OLN, Discovery Channel React
A spokesperson for the Discovery channel, when asked how many more years they thought Armstrong would dominate the Tour, said, "That depends on whether you mean subjective or objective years. With our resources and connections to the science community, we believe that within two years we will have the technology to cryogenically freeze Lance between Tours. You know: race, freeze, thaw, repeat. Doing this, we think we can keep him in peak Tour condition almost indefinitely. We should be able to get another fifteen or twenty wins out of him."
OLN officials, reached for comment, did not say anything, because they were too busy cheering, hugging, and giving each other high-fives. Al Trautwig, commentator for OLN, remarked, "Lance Armstrong! Lancity-Lance-Lance-Lance! Eight, nine, ten-year Tour de France champion!"
It is unclear whether Trautwig was reacting to the news of the rule change or simply practicing for the day’s broadcast.
Today’s Weight: 170.8
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