Life of Reilly
16 February 2004
Copyright (c) 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning
Company. All rights reserved.
how in the world Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong got together?
question: How were they ever apart?
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.
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."
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,"
D : They've both been to hell and back.
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.
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,
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."
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."
she wants to do is have some fun, and she's having it around the
globe: surfing with him in Baja, eating Tex-Mex in Austin, playing
for him at concerts all over Europe. She's even rearranged her
schedule to be with him through the Tour and then the Athens Olympics
in August. She thinks the change will do her good.
he, "She's the most honest person I've ever met."
she, "He's the best person I've ever known."
Lance fans, "Uh-oh."
are fretting that this may be Armstrong's favorite mistake. They
find her dangerous--not just for those sea-blue eyes and fist-
biting curves--but because she surfs, rides dirt bikes and admits
to a Krispy Kreme habit. If Armstrong loses the Tour this year,
she could go down as the Yoko Ono of cycling.
no," she says. "I want him to train exactly as he
The day Armstrong slacks off is the day Mini-Me dunks. The couple
has already entered what he calls Monkville: no alcohol, no desserts,
no late nights. Mon Dieu, stage 1 is only five months away!
past year has been a hairpin turn for Armstrong: divorcing Kristin,
buying another house in Austin a 60-second walk from the one his
three children still live in, falling in love again "way
sooner" than he figured he would and now having to leave
the kids (the oldest a four-year-old) to train in Europe for two
months. "No woman, no sunset, no bottle of wine alleviates
that pain," he admits.
for all that, he seems happier, healthier and more open than I've
ever seen him.
she sings in the kitchen, you know?" he says. "And
I just sit there and listen. It's so cool to be around someone
with so much pure, frickin' talent."
Crow, who has never married, she's in deep, too. "He has
the strength of an army," she says. "When someone has
stared death in the face, life becomes all spirit, soul and heart.
For an artist, there's no better place to be."
are together now at his house in Girona, Spain. He rides his bike
six blistering hours daily, and she writes, plays and studies
Spanish while he's gone. "I'm afraid the next album will
be entirely about Lance," she says. "It's going to be
the sappiest thing ever written."
everybody gets sappy around Valentine's Day, right?
me, now?" she says. "Every day is Valentine's Day."
there's a song title.