I was able to secure an exclusive interview with Matthew McConaughey fan, and Chief Mobility Officer at Radio Shack, Lance Armstrong. He was kind enough to take a few minutes just before Stage 4 of the 2010 Tour de France to answer a few of my questions. The transcript of the interview is below. My questions are in italics, his answers are in quotes:
To claim that the Tour de France is off to a rough start would be an understatement. Crashes. Cobbles. Dogs. What are your thoughts so far, just 3 Stages into the race?
“I never forget anything. That jerk at Garmin said my team soft pedaled last year so I wouldn’t be embarrassed.. He knows damn straight I am perfectly capable of embarrassing myself!”
Uh. right. And what of the cobbles yesterday?
“Cancellara never used a motor. But that YouTube video I had Johan make was a pretty sweet distraction wasn’t it?”
“Yeah. From that bombshell Floyd dropped. What a jackass. Right when the spotlight’s about to be on me at the Tour of California, he has to come out and say ‘hey look at me, look at me, I doped. I’m just like Lance!'”
His allegations are getting quite a bit of attention.
“Yeah and so is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And you don’t see anyone praising BP!”
I’m not sure I follow?
“Of course you don’t. Nobody can follow my wheel man!”
Did you read the Wall Street Journal article from last week?
“Come on. Do you really think I read the Wall Street Journal?”
I suppose not. Speaking of holding wheels, can you hold Contador’s wheel this year?
Alberto Contador, defending Tour de France Champion. Your former teammate.
“Oh. Him. He was soft pedaling the whole time.”
But you just said—
“Check your facts!”
There is a photo that has been posted all over the internet—
“Look man, she told me she was 18—”
[shocked look on interviewers face]
“Never mind. I thought you meant a different picture.”
…of you screaming at Alberto Contador yesterday. A lot of people are wondering what you were saying to him.
“Have you seen Dumb and Dumber?”
“Well you know when Harry and Lloyd are in the car with that dude and Lloyd’s like ‘you wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?’ [laughter] Contador was so mad!”
“Yeah but then when I was doing that, I flatted and lost like 2 minutes to him. Dammit!”
Can you make up that time?
“Absolutely! When I tell Alberto Contador to soft pedal, he soft pedals!”
[long, awkward pause]
Chris Horner is racing with you this year.
“Yeah. Good kid. Hopefully he’s more tight lipped than that Landis idiot.”
What did you tell him before the Tour this year?
“You mean when I took him to one of the high-roller strip joints in Austin? I said ‘are you strong enough to be my man?’ [snickers] That’s from Sheryl Crow.”
Yeah, I, I know.
“We were going to get married—Sheryl and I—not Chris. Then she got cancer, and I was like ‘no way!’ So anyway, I’m like ‘are you strong enough to be my man?’ And he said that he’d always dreamt of being my wingman. Then we Top Gun high fived. You know what that is?”
[Lance then demonstrated the top to bottom ‘Top Gun’ high five]
Right…. Uh… Chris Horner said that he didn’t think the cobbles and narrow roads were a very good idea in a Grand Tour.
“[Christian] Vande Velde probably feels the same way. [laughter].”
The G.C. got a bit of a shake-up yesterday because of the rough roads.
“I didn’t notice. I was too busy making sure all the news coverage was about my flat tire.”
So… no comments on the cobbles yesterday in Stage 3? As a fan, it was pretty exciting to watch.
“No. But I’m sure Frank [Schleck] would have something to say about them! [laughter]”
But on your Twitter feed you expressed condolences to Frank.
“Yeah, well what was I supposed to say? ‘LOL @SchleckFrank can’t ride a 2-wheeler!'”
Good point. I guess.
“Look man, I’m here to win. And when another guy, even if he is the National Champion from a country the size of my entourage, crashes out, then that’s good for me. Sucks to be him. In fact, it always sucks not to be Lance Armstrong. Just ask Floyd Landis.”
Is Floyd telling the truth?
“Who cares! All I have to do is deny everything, mention my fight with cancer, and everything is right in the world. I own this sport. It’s my peloton. I’m The #$*%$ Boss!” [Yelling]
OK, let me ask you about something else. You’ve done the Leadville 100 the last couple of years. Are you planning on racing there again this year?
“Well sort of. [snorts] I’ve registered to ride. Yeah.”
Can you elaborate?
“Well, Fabian Cancellara wanted to ride, but got snubbed in the lottery. [chuckles] He was so ticked about losing that $15 dollar fee! Anyway, so he’s going to use my number.”
You do know that last year there were some girls—
“Yeah, yeah. I know. So promise me you won’t tell anyone. OK? Especially don’t tell that crazy-ass Denver D.A.“
Yeah, sure. But you’re on the record now—
“The last thing I need in my life right now is some kind of federal investigation!”
[Fist bumps interviewer]