the sports section

Lance Armstrong: ‘I Know How to Do This Race’

According to Christine Taylor, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador — his Tour de France teammate and rival — have a tense relationship, but Lance thinks they “both know the right thing to do.” The actress is pals with the seven-time Tour winner, and she says he’s confident — even though he finished in third place in today’s heat. “I talked to him and he had that moment where he said, ‘Guys, I know how to do this race,’” the Dodgeball star told us at a party this week.

If you’ve been watching the Tour de France — and let’s face it, you probably haven’t — you’d know that this year’s race has escalated into the bicycling equivalent of The Color of Money. Here’s where the Paul Newman–Tom Cruise–like battle for supremacy stands. After four years in retirement, seven-time Tour champ Lance Armstrong, 37, decides to make a bid for title No. 8. So Armstrong joins team Astana (named for the coalition of Kazakh companies that pay the bills). The only problem is that Astana already has a team leader, 26-year-old Spaniard Alberto Contador, who won the Tour de France in 2007 and who has different ideas about who should be in charge.

Cut to stage seven of the Tour, an exhausting day of climbing through the Pyrenees. Contador pulls a Vincent Lauria and breaks off on his own at the last second, vaulting ahead of Armstrong in the standings. Now Contador is in second place overall, with Armstrong a close third, both just behind the leader, Rinaldo Nocentini — some Italian we don’t really care about. On Sunday, they enter the Alps, where the winner will be decided — kind of like a mountainous rematch. Will old-man Armstrong prove to Contador that he ain’t gonna change his goddamn diapers? Will ambitious young buck Contador vanquish the old man, but at the cost of his soul? Will any of this matter, as long as Armstrong is “back … “?

Meanwhile, commenters — if you know of bars that are playing the Tour in the city (it’s on Versus, which is not included in some people’s cable packages) please let us know about them in the comments.

Lance Armstrong: ‘I Know How to Do This Race’