Tour de Farce: Shaq challenges Armstrong to race

Either Shaquille O'Neal has way too much time on his hands this off-season or he's stolen Lou Amundson's bike again.

Maybe you caught ESPN2's report that The Big Tweet sent out a challenge to race Lance Armstrong on his Twitter.
"I challenge u to a race any time any place, it's time someone challenged u," Shaq Tweeted.
Armstrong Tweeted back, citing Will Ferrell's "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" in the process: "Alright Shaq, you're on," Lance thumbed. "To quote the great Ricky Bobby, 'Bring it on trying to bring me down.' "

Shaq also sent out a "vroom, vroom" challenge to race IndyCar driver Danica Patrick.
We figure Shaq might have a chance against Danica in a racecar, assuming he can fit in one and as long as she has to make at least one pit stop.
But against Lance on a bike?
We asked Scottsdale-based endurance coach and consultant Joe Friel, author of "The Cyclist's Training Bible," if there is any bike race, at any distance, in which Shaq would stand even a small chance against Armstrong, other than maybe straight down off of a bridge or something.

"I once coached a triathlete who was 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds - and fast," Friel responded via e-mail. "(He) qualified for Ironman Hawaii three years in a row. So big isn't necessarily bad, even for endurance sports. Although it usually is.

"I don't know anything about Shaq riding a bike. He would certainly require a very sturdy one. I doubt if he does much riding, at least during the season. But his best chance would be in a very short sprint, such as 10 yards, from a standing start. It couldn't be a rolling start.

"He could put a lot of torque on the cranks just by standing on them at the start. I wouldn't want to be the guy holding the bike until the gun goes off.
"A rolling start or anything over 10 yards, and he doesn't stand a chance."
Hey, it would be great entertainment just watching Shaq, in cycling stretchy pants and helmet, lined up against Lance.
Here's how they measure up:

Shaquille O'Neal
Age: 37.

Height: 7 feet 1.

Weight: 325.*

Shoe: Li Ning (Chinese).

Yellow jerseys: Wore one eight years in a row with the Lakers. Also has worn jerseys of the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and the Suns.

Nicknames: The Big (fill in the blank).

Has been romantically linked to: Actress Holly Robinson (over in about 1995), who now is married to former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete.

Did you know: Has said he'd like to be a Calvin Klein underwear model (plus sized).

Biggest rival: Former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Intangibles: Imagine the leverage a size 23 cycling shoe could put to a pedal with 325* pounds mashing on it. Wait, do they make a size-23 cycling shoe?

*15 years ago, maybe.

Lance Armstrong

Age: 37.

Height: 5-10 1/2.

Weight: 160.**

Shoe: Nike (One in three made in China).

Yellow jerseys: Wore it seven years in a row at the end of the Tour de France, might get his eighth this summer.

Nicknames: Mellow Johnny, The Boss.

Has been romantically linked to: Sheryl Crow (over), Ashley Olsen (over), Kate Hudson (so over). Recently announced he and girlfriend Anna Hansen are expecting a child.

Did you know: Once posed naked on a bike for a Vanity Fair photo shoot. Let's hope it was his bike.

Biggest rival: Astana teammate Alberto Contador.

Intangibles: The New Yorker magazine once reported Armstrong's has a heart three sizes bigger than the normal adult male - or roughly the same size as Shaq's, because he's about three adult males rolled into one. Lance also can take that ticker up to 201 beats per minute and sustain a rate of 188-192. Not that he'll need to break that kind of a sweat to beat The Big Pedaler.
**Coincidentally, the same weight as Shaq's head.

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