I’m counting down the days till the Tour, but I have to wonder: can anyone even come close to Contador? Funny how some athletes are loved for winning – Armstrong – while others are loathed for it – Contador. I’ll admit Alberto isn’t the most personable of fellas, but damn he rides with passion. I mean it’s like some mafia type is holding his mother hostage and saying “win or the old bag catches one between the eyes.” Alberto shows up every morning, rides each stage like he’s had a month of rest, neither gives quarter nor asks for mercy and he seems to be universally hated, whereas Armstrong showed up with an entourage and acted like a pompous rock star ass and he was the golden boy.
I’ll be cheering for Andy Schleck, but other than that one day last year when his “stomach was full of anger” he doesn’t seem to have that “either I win or I die trying” attitude that Contador – like Armstrong and Pantani before him – has. I remember watching an interview with Dick Butkus years ago and the interviewer asked him why he hit so hard. He said something to the effect that he just convinced himself that the guy with the ball had called his mother a whore and that he was going to kill that bastard, he said that he was going to make sure that guy never got up again. Contador hits the Alps with that same psychopathic attitude.
When it comes to personalities I doubt Armstrong, Contador or Schleck would be all that much fun to hang out with. If I could spend a day with a Tour rider I’d choose either Renshaw or Cancellera. Too bad Fabian can’t ride the hills; he would be a great face for cycling.