The tour rolled through what is considered an "easy" stage Thursday, a mere hundred miles of rolling countryside, with every town and village along the route a gauntlet of rabid fans eager to press close to the riders.
Nine years ago, Armstrong had dropped out by this point in the three-week-long tour.
Now, Pizzey points out, he's having a love affair with the French, and they with him.
"Bonjour, bonjour, France," he called out Thursday to spectators along the route.
"I could say I am here to have fun," Armstrong observes, "here to enjoy the last one. But I am focused on one thing: trying to win again."
Armstrong had said this would be his last Tour.
The fact that he also beat cancer has elevated the phenomenal into the incredible, Pizzey points out, and helped turn a sport that was once a mystery to all but the most dedicated fans into a worldwide event, and put its star rider into the same category as his rock star girlfriend,.
"It has its own backstage element of rock and rollness," Crow says, "and also, this particular sport, you can get closer to your heroes, unlike other sports. But in Lance's situation, he's kind of in a category all his own."
And apparently, he's not letting the pressure of setting a probably unbreakable record get to him.
"He's amazingly relaxed," Crow says. "He was listening to Led Zeppelin, so I think we're in pretty good shape. …I think he's really out to enjoy it this year and come home with the yellow again."
Armstrong says he expected a harder race. Instead, he's cruising to that seventh-straight victory.
Even his rivals concede he's in as good shape as ever.
"I feel pretty good, I feel pretty good," Armstrong said on the race's first day. "I tell myself, the faster I pedal, the faster I can retire, so I feel good."
"And," Pizzey says, "the ultimate bike racer is showing signs of being anxious to get it over with. Near the end of one stage, he turned to a competitor and joked, 'Let's just keep on going!' "