Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with Lance 3.0. Who is Lance 3.0 you might ask? Lance 1.0 is Lance Armstrong's early years most notably when he was a professional for the Motorola Cycling team. Lance 1.0 was a pretty good version. He won a World Road Championship, a $1,000,000 three-race trifecta including a US Professional road championship, two stages of the Tour de France, the Belgian Classic Fleche Wallone and totally dominated a couple of Tour DuPonts. Lance 1.0 could ride a bike both here and in Europe.
Lance 2.0 is the post-cancer Lance. All he did the second time around was to win seven consecutive Tours de France. Lance 2.0 was probably an improvement over Lance 1.0, especially if you had a big screen TV and a lot of free time during the month of July.
Lance 3.0 is the current Lance Armstrong. The comeback Lance. Lance 3.0 seems a lot more relaxed and outwardly having fun. It's like this time around he is playing with the house's money. Lance 2.0 proved he could ride a bike. Lance 3.0 is proving that he can have fun riding a bike as well. That's not to say that Lance 1.0 and 2.0 wasn't having fun riding his bike, its just that Lance 3.0 seems to be having more fun.
Which brings us to the San Diego Air and Space Technology Low Speed Wind Tunnel and Lance 3.0's testing session there yesterday. I attended the session as one of a handful of journalists and got to see Big Tex, well, Lance 3.0, in his first time riding against artificial air in almost four years.
One thing that was abundantly clear, Lance 3.0 is pretty darn fit. Keep in mind that this is only November and the serious racing doesn't begin for at least 3.5 months, but Lance 3.0 is on a mission. And his long-time coach Chris Carmichael indicated that his prodigy is as motivated and dedicated as he has ever been.
But, the real question has to be is Lance 3.0 an improvement over Lance 2.0? I don't think that Lance 3.0 is going to win eight consecutive Tours, but if he is having more fun this time around and has found a new level of enjoyment riding the bike then it's no contest.
ps - you can read my report on Lance at the wind tunnel on cyclingnews.com at: