The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 24, 2000 · Page 19
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 19

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, July 24, 2000
Page 19
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The Indianapolis Star Unexpected winner John Capel (left) wins the 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials after Michael Johnson and Maurice Greene pull up lame. Page 7 Monday, July 24, 200Q Sports C, -y NFL 2 SCOREBOARD 4 NBA 5 Jf GOLF 6 J BASEBALL 8-9 s ..invyf ;aav ;A J InfoLine: 624-INFO (4636) Online: A Bill Benner Great moments share the stage as Armstrong, Woods triumph Of this, that and the other: It's too bad that two great American triumphs occurred almost simultaneously Sunday, because each Is so magnificent it deserves an unadorned stage. Unfortunately, by the nature of the profile level of the sports golf vs. cycling Tiger Woods' British Open championship and completion of golf's career Grand Slam is certain to eclipse Armstrong's second consecutive victory in the Tour de France. . Not to take anything from Woods' brilliance at St. Andrews, but there is nothing, anywhere, that remotely compares with Armstrong's incredible achievement of winning back-to-back Tours in the wake . of his recovery from almost fatal cancer. Admittedly, I feel much stronger ties to Armstrong than . I do Woods. In the fall of 1996, because I knew Lance and his agent, Bill Stapleton, I was invited to 1U Hospital to interview Lance within days of his surgery to have two tumors removed from his brain, the result of his advanced case of testicular cancer. During the interview, Arm- strong, though obviously weak and gaunt, couldn't have been more inspirational and determined to survive, though his doctors were privately saying his chances were less than 20 percent. I wrote the column and returned home that evening to my wife, shaken, telling her how incredibly mentally strong Armstrong was but that I Just didn't see how he could live more than a few months. We all know the rest of the story. Within a year, he was back on his bike. And now he has won twice what I believe to be the most demanding sporting competition there is, the 2,000-mile, three-week Tour de France. -. It's one of the greatest stories In the history of sports. Trust me. If you could have seen Armstrong in that hospital bed four years ago, you wouldn't disagree. Now, on to Tiger Woods. The voice mail idiot wanted to make sure that I pointed out that golfers are not athletes and therefore, anything Woods accomplishes is somehow not worthy. "I'd like to see that Tiger Woods take a (hockey) check or catch a pass going over the middle," said the idiot. Those are real athletes." - Nonsense. Woods and his peers would not rise to their level of play without immense athletic skills and the requisite discipline to hone those skills. Athleticism is not defined solely by the ability to run or Jump, or to simply be physically strong. What Woods has achieved is extraordinary by any standard applied to athletics. Besides, if golf is so easy, why do so many "real" athletes struggle to play it well? Finally, Rick Carlisle deserves recognition for the way he handled the official news last week that Donnie Walsh had hired Isiah Thomas and not the former Pacers assistant as the team's new head coach. "I never believed or found that a negative reaction to an adverse situation gets you anywhere," he told me Friday. In an Ironic twist, Carlisle revealed it was Thomas who, five years ago and then president of the Toronto Raptors, planted the seed of Carlisle becoming a head coach. Thomas proposed that Carlisle, then with Portland, Join the Raptors as their No. 1 assistant and possibly succeed Brendan Malone a year later. "I declined the offer because I didn't think I was ready, but I started to think of ways to prepare myself for that position," Carlisle said. "Funny, the way it turned out." Bill Benner Is a sports columnist for The Indianapolis Star. You can con-' ta him by calling (31724-4636 arid entering 7151. TOUR DE FRANCE ' $ a av 'i i . A A r j, "X i A A A a "13 Fi v NA YVI' A ''X MNf' A : K J """" "" K A A X;- "''A-'"-- ; ' A. , 1 A A.v X. A ' lT'sA.SA -' r ! f: a. . 1 v py J 'Si k,A'. .0?- 'K. . , H ,aa2"' T --rV r - ' ' i A) p."; :., Associated Press Laurent Rebours An American In Paris: Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong rides down the Champs-Elysees after the 21st and final stage of the cycling race. The 28-year-old Texan won by more than 6 minutes. Tour de Lance hits Paris American rider finds personal vindication with his 2nd consecutive win in cycling's biggest race. By Bonnie DeSimone CHICAGO TRIBUNE PARIS Any world history student knows the French are touchy about the subject of foreign occupation. Yet once a year for three weeks, they cede 2,200 miles of roadway to an army of cyclists from two-dozen countries, form the world's largest reception line Inside: Americans celebrating Lance Armstrong's victory are easy to spot in Paris. Page 8 on either side of the course and sincerely root for the best man to win. Lance Armstrong owns all of this again: the mountains, the straightaways, the fields of lavender and sunflowers, the lone gendarme standing sentry every few hundred yards, the little girl clutching her doll and waving, the man perched two stories high in a cherry-picker, the families picnicking out of their trailers, the fans darting into the road between cars the night before the race to paint their heroes' names on the asphalt. . No one wins the Tour de France by accident and no one captures two without being an exceptionally disciplined warrior. Sunday, the runt from Piano, Texas, claimed cycling's most prestigious title for a second consecutive time. Greg LeMond, who won titles in 1986, 1989 and 1990, is the only other American to have prevailed in this European-dominated event. On the victor's podium at the foot See LANCE Page 8 " dont consider this year a comeback like last year. I consider this year a confirmation of last year. " Lance Armstrong British Open title allows him to join 4 all-time greats with a career Grand Slam. By Glenn Sheeley COX NEWS SERVICE ST. ANDREWS, Scotland Forget the comparisons of Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan. They're totally bogus. At least Jordan had Larry Bird or Magic Johnson around at crunch time to occasionally match him basket for basket. Woods is going unguarded at every major championship, and there's no telling when it will end. His British Open victory Sunday at the Old Course came as no surprise to anyone who could distinguish the Road Hole from a road trip. He closed with a 3-under-par 69 to win the 129th British Open by eight shots with a tournament record score of 19-under 269. Woods also became the youngest golfer, at 24, to win all four majors, surpassing Jack Nicklaus, who accomplished the feat at 26. Ben Ho-gan, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player are the only other players to win all four majors during their careers. Substitute California ice plant for Scottish gorse, and this Open could have been called "Pebble Beach II," where Woods won by 15 shots last month. In fact, it appeared the toughest thing he did all week was gather his stuff at the airport. "It wasn't that long ago that I said I didn't think there'd ever be another Jack Nicklaus, but we're looking at one," Mark Calcavecchia said of Woods. "He is it. He is the See WOODS Page 6 More history to chase At 24, Tiger Woods is the youngest golfer to complete a career Grand Slam. He has won each major tournament once. There is more tor him to achieve as he tries to eclipse Jack Nicklaus' benchmarks: Grand slam victories 18 Second career Grand Slam 1971, 31, PGA (Nicklaus' first came in 1966 at age 26 at the British Open) Third career Grand Slam 1978, 38, British Open Nicklaus won six Masters (1963, '65, '66, '72, '75, '86), four U.S. Opens ('62, '67, '72, '80), three British Opens ('66, 70, 78) and five PGA Championships ('63, 71, 73, 75, '80). I if A I -; A- A . 1 A . A . jT A ' -J P;. " A ' i- . t - .... A - : ,- ". ! i : .: . 3 '7 ' iii) ii. in i n " - 1 Associated Press Adam Butter No sweat: Tiger Woods has won 16 of his past 29 tournaments around the world. Youth conquers experience as Montoya slips by Andretti By Robin Miller STAFF WRITER BROOKLYN, Mich. For three hours, between speeds of 220 and 230 mph, they battled each other. And 10 drivers officially swapped the lead 52 times. But it came down to the perfect scenario. The incomparable kid who never backs off and the respected warrior who still runs wide open. Juan Montoya vs. Michael Andretti. They were virtually side by side starting the last lap and that's the way it finished. But Montoya squeezed past Andretti just before the checkered flag to win Sunday's Michigan 500. In another thrilling show in front of another disappointing crowd (estimated at 50,000) on the 2-mile Inside: Robin Miller says it will be a mistake if CART gives up on Michigan Speedway. Page 3 high banks of Michigan Speedway, two of the true talents in open-wheel racing traded first place six times in the final two laps. Montoya, who scored a dominating victory in his first Indianapolis 500 in May, took the white flag in second, drove around Andretti exiting turn one and lost the lead heading into the third corner. The mercurial 24-year-old Colombian pulled his Target Lola Toyota alongside Andretti's Kmart Texaco LolaFord as they barreled out of the fourth turn and came SeelrOUTH Page 3 I 1 J V lid '.'$r a '-. . (-. A Associated Press Craig Williby Trophy says It all: Juan Montoya holds up his winner's trophy in victory lane after edg- ing Michael Andretti by .04 seconds in the' Michigan 500. Wallace inherits race victory as Mayfield falters on last lap By Curt Cavin STAFF WRITER LONG POND, Pa. Rusty Wallace was fighting Jeff Burton in a heated battle for second place Sunday at Pocono International Raceway when he saw the leader in peril. His Penske Racing teammate, Jeremy Mayfield, had cut a right front tire a mile from home. Wallace was astounded but not dumbfounded. He knew what to do. Within seconds, Wallace's Miller Lite Ford was on its way to victory in the Pennsylvania 500, the final tuneup before the NASCAR Winston Cup series moves to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 5 for the Brickyard 400. "Jeremy's CtSt hung a right (off the second of tnree turns), I saw a AASi TA j x ; - if 2. ; ii Rusty Wallace scores a victory in the Pennsylvania 500 when teammate Jeremy Mayfield has tire trouble on the final lap. hole and I mashed the gas," said Wallace, who won his second race of the season and the 5Jst of his career. "I knew I couldn't lift because (Burton) was on my rear end." . - That's where Burton finished, by 0.126 seconds, although he felt he was quicker than Wallace and May- 'i X See WALLACE Page 3 1

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