With the Tour de France nearly upon us, here's a shout-out to Wordsworth's wingman, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who coined the phrase "willing suspension of disbelief" -- which comes in particularly handy when you're watching a pro bike race.
Until he lost his appeals and changed his tune, Floyd Landis pioneered the Jack Daniels defense. Another athlete, a former American track and field sprinter, insisted that his elevated levels of testosterone were the result of repeated intercourse, and copious amounts of beer, on the eve of the test.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Buck up, Lance Armstrong fans. Maybe your hero was sandbagging. Maybe the seven-time Tour de France winner was trying to lull his rivals into a false sense of security as he ticked off his woes at last Friday's introductory press conference for the eight-day Amgen Tour of California, which starts Sunday.
SAINT MAURICE, France -- Okay, people, you've had a couple days to come to terms with the cycling's New World Order. How's the grieving process going? Coping okay? Did we have a bit of a sulk on Sunday? For a lot of yellow-braceleted faithful, that day marked the death of illusions and wishful thinking; the moment Alberto Contador ("Contador le Matador" as L'Equipe dubbed him) rode into yellow. And he did in a voracious, merciless, effortless style that: 1) evoked a young Lance Armstrong; and 2) suggested very strongly that he'll be sporting the maillot jaune all the way to Paris.