Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Lance Armstrong and Johann Bruyneel

Sally Jenkins writes about the student-teacher relationship of Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel, his coach. A good and not well known story: "Since then [1999], Armstrong and Bruyneel have become professionally inseparable, as Armstrong has won five consecutive Tour de France titles. Should Armstrong win a record-breaking sixth title, as he is seeking to do over the next 10 days and thousand miles through the dire ascensions and swooping descents of the Pyrenees and Alps, Armstrong will be called the greatest cyclist in history. But Armstrong would be the first to tell you cycling is a team sport, and that while he’s the one who rides the blacktop and climbs the jagged icy peaks, without Bruyneel, he might never have won a single Tour much less have a shot at a record. Though Bruyneel is unrecognized outside of his own sport, he has been to Armstrong what Phil Jackson was to Michael Jordan, an arch-strategist and a critical influence, who has taught one of the all-time greats how to get the absolute most out of himself, and without whom he might have been considerably less great."

"Bruyneel made Armstrong something he had never been, a prepared and efficient rider."

"Coach and rider found that their differences proved to be the perfect complement to each other: Bruyneel’s tactical intelligence and Armstrong’s extraordinary will; Bruyneel’s gift for preparation and Armstrong’s physical capacity to execute any plan. For all of their differences in personality, they have an effortless understanding, able to finish each other’s thoughts. ’A lot of times we think the same way, and it’s difficult to explain exactly why,’ Bruyneel says. ’We don’t have a lot of disagreements. We’re passionate about the same things, the work, and the details.’

What they share is a tireless work ethic, mutually inexhaustible ambition, and a vision: Bruyneel saw more in Lance Armstrong than Lance Armstrong saw in himself. In a way, what Bruyneel has given to Armstrong is the greatest gift, himself. Together they’ve created cycling lore."

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