It’s no secret that Lance Armstrong is an extremely competitive person, not that that’s a bad thing. That is exactly why it’s hardly a stunner that Armstrong hasn’t been content after all to stand aside and support Astana teammate Alberto Contador during the Tour de France.
Does someone like Armstrong, who won seven Tours in a row, re-emerge from "retirement" to be anything other than The Man? Of course not, that’s not how it goes.
When Jordan came back to the Wizards, was he satisfied playing second fiddle to the younger players on the team to help them learn how to lead, maybe even coming off the bench if it was to help the team’s progress? Get real. Though Jordan’s body no longer allowed him to duplicate his former physical splendor, his mentality had not changed, and he conducted himself as such — at the expense of the team.
The difference with Armstrong is that he’s not much weaker than he was before, if at all. He’s still a virtuoso capable of controlling the action; Lance in the Alps is akin to Federer at Centre Court. And he knows it.
But then there’s the matter of Contador. When Lance returned to Astana, he was coming back to a team that featured the Tour winner from just two years ago. Contador was not initially pleased, intending to join another team, but he was contractually obligated to Astana. However, Armstrong said the right things. This is from their first press conference back in December: