Jalabert: 'Lance is like the Terminator'
After five consecutive wins, Jalabert sees Lance coming back for more, oblivious to the pain and suf
Few observers can offer more insight into the Tour de France than Laurent Jalabert. Fourth overall in 1995, a winner of the points title and twice King of the Mountains, the Frenchman now works as a commentator for French TV, giving his expert views from the back of a motorbike that’s always close to the centre of the race action. Like most others, Jalabert has selected Lance Armstrong as his Tour favourite, but does not see the Texan having an easy ride, “although it is going to be very difficult to beat him. However, this year there are several riders who are aiming to beat him, whereas last year most were just thinking of coming second to him.” Jalabert added: “Only he will know if the years are starting to take their toll. What is certain is that the fall he suffered in the Dauphin last year prevented him from starting in ideal condition, that was evident when he was racing.” As he was being interviewed by Spanish paper Marca, Jalabert had to offer his opinion on the comparison between Armstrong and fellow five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain. “They’ve got different styles so you can’t and you shouldn’t really compare them,” said Jalabert diplomatically. “They are different people as well and the only thing that makes them similar is the fact that they have won five Tours. “I preferred riding against Indurain because of his manner – less provocative, more discreet, he had more class. Armstrong seems as if he doesn’t feel pain, he’s like a machine, like the star of an American film, a Terminator who never dies.” Admitting he rarely goes out on his bike any more, Jalabert said he felt there is no better way of seeing the Tour than from the back of a motorbike. “It’s a real pleasure to follow the Tour like that, it’s as if you were on a bike, but without the suffering. And you get a better idea of what is going on as well, because you can go with the leaders, then drop back to see the chasers, then get back up to the leaders again. Honestly, it’s wonderful.”