A Little Help From Your Friends

It was another one of those little moments in Monday’s Tour de France.

If you’re paying attention, you’ve no doubt seen the remarkable photo on Velonews of Beloki sliding on the pavement as Armstrong veers around him. Look at three things – the tension in Armstrong’s jaw, in his forearms as he grips the brakes. And look at the girl on the right in the sun bonnet.

No doubt you’ve also seen the video of Armstrong going cyclocross across the field, too, carrying his bike down the hill and remounting as the little peloton whips by him. But there’s a little moment there that I almost missed, save for looking closely at the replay, as Tyler Hamilton reaches out to his old team leader as he rolls past. Here’s how Hamilton explained it:

I’ve never seen anything like what he did. The guy just keeps making bike racing history. We could see him crossing the field as we made our way around the switch back. When he darted back into the road I couldn’t believe what I was watching him do.

I instinctively threw out my arm to try and give him a push to help get him up to speed, but then I realized I had reached out with my right arm, which is the side with my collarbone fractures. At the last second, I pulled my hand away. I don’t think I would have been much help to him anyway. He seemed to have the situation under control.

Pretty great sport, no?