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Tour de Romance
Rick Reilly
February 16, 2004
Wondering how in the world Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong got together?
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February 16, 2004

Tour De Romance

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Wondering how in the world Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong got together?

Better question: How were they ever apart?

Exhibit A: Crow thinks scars are so sexy. "They're your war medals," says the singer. "They're mementos of what you've survived." Well, hell, Armstrong is the worldwide leader in scars: road scars, cancer scars, divorce scars. The guy is mostly scar.

Exhibit B: They are two of the most cussedly competitive people on earth. "I knew I was falling for her one day playing tennis," he says. "I was down 3-0, and I came back and won 6-4. She was so mad! She wouldn't even talk to me. That's when I realized she's just like me: She hates to lose."

Exhibit C: They seem just slightly more caffeinated than Speedy Gonzalez. Like Steve McQueen, Armstrong only needs a fast machine. ("He even goes 100 in 16-passenger vans!" Crow marvels.) If he is doing one thing, he's doing three. But Crow may be worse. Somebody asked Armstrong what her greatest fear is. "Sitting still," he said.

Exhibit D: They've both been to hell and back.

For Armstrong it was cancer, beating the 60% chance he was going to die, reinventing his body and then winning five straight Tours de France, with a go at a record sixth coming in July. Hey, Sheryl, here's someone strong enough to be your man.

For Crow it was depression, which kept her in bed for six months in the late 1980s when her career floundered. Finally she hit with her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, and became the Grammy sensation of 1994. Thirty million albums later, she's an original, baby.

The hot new couple for paparazzi first met at Andre Agassi's fund-raiser in Nevada four months ago. After leaving Las Vegas, they flirted by BlackBerry from afar. "I said I'd teach him guitar if he taught me to cycle," says Crow, who will be 10 years older than Armstrong when she turns 42 this week. He finally got those lessons after their first date in London. "He can play some Nirvana," she says. "He's got a really good ear."

He, in turn, taught her to ride a racing bike (click-in pedals, no less) by hollering instructions out the window of an SUV. Now, she can pedal the first 25 miles of his training rides. "There's nothing in the world like riding a bike with Lance Armstrong," she says. "All of a sudden he's 12 years old."

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