With a sixth Tour in the bag, Lance is asked where he stands on the US elections. As usual his tacti
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Critics of Lance Armstrong’s heavy-handed approach to settling old scores with Filippo Simeoni will be encouraged to note that Big Tex has a better record of diplomacy in political matters. In an interview published by La Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, Armstrong was asked to declare his preference vis-a-vis the forthcoming United States presidential elections. If three weeks of toil on French roads haven’t left Armstrong complaining of saddle sore, then Monday’s exemplary display of fence-straddling just might. “[George] Bush or [John] Kerry? Hum.That question is too hard to answer,” Armstrong told La Gazzetta. “Bush is a friend. Kerry. Kerry rides a bike and is a real cycling fan. The other day he phoned me on my mobile to congratulate me and I could tell that he had technical knowledge, too. Bush, on the other hand, sent me a lovely fax on White House paper which says simply: THE PRESIDENT. No, I can’t answer that question.” Friend of the President, boyfriend of a rock star, Armstrong’s has the sophisticated tastes which go with the refined company he keeps. According to La Gazzetta, on Saturday evening the Texan toasted his imminent consecration as the greatest ever Tour rider with a bottle of Bordeaux Chateau Sieuzal 1998. Another prestigious name, Ferrari, was also in attendance. That would be personal trainer Michele, not the ruby red sportscar of prancing horse fame, in case you hadn’t guessed.