SI's 2002 Sportsman of the Year

Ah, finally some American appreciation for cycling. Lance is SI's 2002 Sportsman of the Year. I can appreciate it even more, having been there to witness him putting the hammer down on his opponents in the Pyrenees and the Alps this summer.
It recalls that scene from Zoolander. "For the past four years, the world of male cycling has been dominated by 3 syllables: Lance Arm-Strong."
Kelli Anderson, whoever he or she is, writes a memorable metaphor of the first mountain stage in the Pyrenees, which I watched tonight as I rode for an hour on my bike on the trainer: "One by one the Posties burned themselves out and fell away like booster stages on a rocket launch as they led Armstrong on a chase of 33-year-old Laurent Jalabert of France on the final climb to La Mongie." And that's how it was on seemingly every mountain stage. Hincapie would be out front at the base of the mountain, then someone else like Floyd Landis would pull for a short bit. Then the daily Spanish special, Chechu Rubiera would lead out and lift the pace to shatter the chasers, leaving only Beloki. Finally Heras would come up front and lift the pace yet again, pushing Beloki to the redline and allowing Armstrong to attack and separate to the finish.
I've decided I must return to France next summer to see Lance chase five in a row. It will just happen to be the 100th anniversary of the Tour, and the French need few excuses to party.

As I book flights for holidays, I think to myself, how nice would it be to be able to select what stranger you sit next to on a flight. Aaron agrees, having recently been seated next to an old man with what Aaron diagnosed as tuberculosis for a long flight. My last flight to San Francisco I was seated in the same set of 3 seats as an androgynous 15 year old (okay, turns out he's a boy) who couldn't stop dancing to the Japanese techno pop on his walkman and who confessed to everyone in his general area that he was bisexual and on medication. Thankfully some United pilot bumming a ride on the flight was seated between us.