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I've read something quoting Chris Carmichael as saying that Lance wins the TdF between the months of Nov-Mar (which is when I suspect more than a few of those 189 other riders are slacking off a fair bit)

"Slacking off a bit," also known as "having a life."

I find it more than a bit odd how so many people - Americans mostly, it seems - find working, working, working all the live long time somehow a desirable alternative to balance, recreation, and just plain ol' having fun. Maybe the European TdF contenders would just rather spend the winter curled up with their honey more, or hanging out with their newborn child more (Jan and Ivan are both new dads), or having one more glass of wine, or just laying around doing nothing. They deserve it. They aren't machines.

Yes, Lance "is a MONSTER when it comes to athletes," as the OP said. But really, so what?

I mean no offense. I respect Lance's athletic abilities and his amazing comeback from cancer, but I think his arrogant, win-at-all-costs attitude is not something worthy of adulation.

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