Armstrong Making Major Effort to Win Over French Fans

Jerome Pugmire of The Associated Press reports that Lance Armstrong is going out of his way to connect with French fans during his last Tour de France. This effort has included:

  • giving his cap to a couple with whom he spoke at a recent stage start,
  • chatting with motorcycle camera men in the middle of stages,
  • starting interviews with French media people in French,

Sammarye Lewis of Velogal confirms this in her blog article published today:

Lance spent an extraordinary amount of time signing autographs this morning. One adolescent girl was so thrilled that she was literally shaking. She was immediately on the phone telling someone about it� Just totally stoked. Everybody here wears their cell phones on lanyards around their necks. Me, too�

I had wondered why Lance has been shown talking to the camera so frequently during the less intense parts of recent stages. I've been watching the Tour since 1989 or 1990 and I've never seen any rider, let alone the leader of the G.C., talk to the camera in this manner.

The times that I've seen him talking to the camera on OLN he's been speaking English. It's possible that he's speaking French to the camera at times as well, or he may know which moto cameras belong to OLN and which ones belong to France Television and the ASO.

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