How Lance Decided this Would Be His Last Tour de France

The cycling world is all a-flutter with the latest news about Lance Armstrong, announced — as is all important news these days — via Twitter:


As a cycling fan, chances are you have already seen this tweet, or at least heard about it.

What you do not know (until now of course) is why Lance has decided — again — to retire (again).

The truth is, I helped him arrive at that decision.

A Fateful Phone Call

A couple nights ago, Lance called me. He does that a couple times per week. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hello?

Lance: Hey, Fatty. It’s Mellow Johnny.

Me: Hi Lance.

Lance: Hey, I want a nickname too. Call me “Mellow Johnny,” OK?

Me: OK. Did you know it’s 4:18AM here, Mellow Johnny?

Lance: Oh, sorry. I can never remember whether to add or subtract five hours.

Me: Don’t worry about it. You sound kind of down. What’s going on?

Lance: My goiter. Hurts like crazy, Fatty.

Me: You should have the team doctor look at that.

Lance: You think I’m going to let him see this? The whole team would know about it in about ten seconds.

Me: Probably true.

Lance: So I’ve been thinking. Maybe it’s time I hang up the ol’ helmet.

Me: OK.

Lance: But I mean for real this time. For keeps.

Me: OK.

Lance: But if I did that, I’d lose all the perks of the job. I’d never win another TdF.

Me: So keep racing.

Lance: But I think I’m just worn out.

Me: So stop. You’ve had a good, long career.

Lance: But what if I could have had a really good year next year, but I quit this year?

Me: You sound conflicted.

Lance: You don’t know the half of it.

Me: I’ll tell you what. Make yourself a PRO / CON sheet. Highlight the points that matter the most to you. I think that will help you clear up your mind on the matter.

Lance: OK, I’ll get right on that. Thanks, Fatty.

Me: Good night, Mellow Johnny.

PROs and CONs

Then, this morning, I got a priority overnight package from Europe. Curious, I opened it up, and found the following.

Page 1:

And page 2,:


If you ask me, this explains a lot.

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