The crash at the Castilla y Leon which ended Lance Armstrong's raceaspirations may turn out to be an indicator of things to come.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

The crash at the Castilla y Leon which ended Lance Armstrong's race
aspirations may turn out to be an indicator of things to come.

Many
critics have doubted whether the seven-time Tour de France legend will
succeed in his attempts to re-live the glory days of the past.

It
goes without saying his return to the pro-scene has been closely
scrutinised and documented since making his comeback at the Tour Down
Under in January.

You don't have to be Einstein to realise
it was never going to be an easy assignment for a man whose
expectations are to reach cycling's pinnacle yet again.

But
after the handful of races he's appeared in so far this year, the most
asked question should be "Will Lance ever be at the top of his game
again.?"

I for one certainly hope so and while the heart speaks volumes, the head says "probably not".

Lance
has certainly shown a competitive edge in all of his races after three
years away from the bike - never really dominating the way he once did.


In the years when he ruled the roads of France, it was rare to see him dropped by big-name rivals.

He also proved to be a safe and durable rider keeping himself out of trouble, seldom crashing and never injured.

Something
he acknowledged in a post crash interview, saying, "In 17 years as a
pro I have been lucky to avoid one of the most common cycling injuries."


But after losing contact on the Cipressa at the Milan San Remo, and now
suffering injury in the Castilla y Leon, it seems those days may be a
thing of the past.

In the old days, Lance had the stamina of
a steam train, the physical and mental strength of ten men and the team
support that was built like Fort Knox.

I hate to say it, but
all those ingredients seem to be gone and questions have to be asked of
an Astana team that appears to lack structure and organisation.


Apart from Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer, this
so-called "super-team" pales in comparison to the quality of talent
that guided Lance to Tour success between 1999 and 2005.

Remember
the days when Armstrong was brilliantly supported by names such as
Heras, Savoldelli, Hincapie, Ekimov, Azevedo, Popovych and Rubeira?
Just to name a few.

There's no question Lance must now review his plans and goals for the rest of the year.

Chances are he'll race the Giro in sub-par shape and attempt to be just as competitive as ever in the Tour.

But if he doesn't deliver, he can always blame the reason for any possible future failures on a shattered right collarbone.