June 3, 2009

Return To Splendor

Okay, the big question for me goes back to Michelle Kwan. Will she come back? Will she be the TBD in Skate America? Would she take up a valuable spot in Vancouver?

Since she has left the door open, you know she's weighing her options. I wonder if she shouldn't put in a call to other skaters who have done that. Aaron at Axels, Loops, and Spins mentioned skaters like Irena Slutskaya and Todd Eldredge and Jumping Clapping Man went into more detail back in March. Would Boitano or Witt tell Michelle to jump in (no pun intended) like they had in Lillehammer? Or would they say don't risk it.

Between the posts and the comments I can't add much. Well, okay, one thing, don't forget about Gordeyeva and Gringkov in Lillehammer. Of all the gold medals that came storming back to compete, they were the only ones to repeat.

Well, while the bloggers have been discussing all the finer points of the GP selections, I was busy watching the final stages of the Giro d'Italia. Italy's version of the Tour de France. I'm a huge fan of cycling - I blame my husband for that - and I can boast about seeing every stage of the Tour de France since 2005. Watched the tours even without Lance Armstrong riding.

But speaking of Lance, he was riding in the Giro this year. Came in 12th. Planning to ride in the Tour de France next.

Okay, Ice Charades, this blog is about skating and your off on some bike trail. Are you going anywhere with this?

Why, yes. Thanks for asking.

It's largely the same discussion about Lance as with Michelle. Why did he come back? Is he setting out to win the Tour or just enjoy the scenery this time? Is he crowding out to other GC riders on his team?

In Cycling, a team usually concentrates on one rider being the GC contender (General Classification) and the rest of the team - the domestiques - works for their GC guy. That's a different philosophy than skating, but ... Lance worked as a domestique (French for servant) in the Giro to help out his teammate Levi Leipheimer. It could be that Levi will have to return the favor for the Tour. There is another rider on the team, Alberto Contador, who is probably the best rider on any team right now. Will he work for Lance or the other way around?

Seen here in the blue and yellow.

Maybe there was some bartering, like this, in the GP selections as well. I don't doubt that Lance (maybe Michelle too) had a seat at the table when discussions started.

Right now, it looks like Lance is back riding for the thrill of competing - since he's a long shot for the Tour. We'll know at the end of July if he was able to do more. Maybe Michelle should give him a call.

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