MONTPELLIER, France -- If Sheryl Crow wrote a song about Lance Armstrong, the title would be simple and to the point: "Make 'em suffer."
"His little boy [Luke] always says, 'Make 'em suffer daddy,' so it definitely would incorporate that phrase," Crow said.
The 43-year-old rocker is on her second Tour de France, and is relishing seeing boyfriend Armstrong power his way to what could be
his seventh straight win. Heading into Saturday's 14th stage of the
23-day event, Armstrong held a commanding lead over his main
"It's one of the most inspiring events I've been involved in,"
said Crow, who is putting the finishing touches on her new album,
"Wildflower." "When you see the spirit of these guys, it's crazy
the lengths these riders go to. You know it's got to be painful,
but their heart drives them to be great ... I love that seeking of
Crow feels privileged to be able to peel back the curtains of
the 102-year-old race.
"I'm lucky, I'm one of the only women I know of in the history
of the Tour that's got to spend time with the team," she said.
"Breakfast with the team ... then I speak to people or go to the
bus and spend time with Lance. In the evening, he goes to massage
and I go to exercise with a run or on the bike ... and then we eat
dinner with the team."
Despite rising early, spending hours on empty highways, smiling
sweetly for countless fans and posing patiently for endless photos,
Crow has found time to work on "Wildflower," which is due for
release in September.
"I didn't bring my guitar, because I already have more stuff
than all the riders," she joked. "I am working a lot during the
day sequencing the record and picking mixes, videos. Now the busy
work, it's not the creative fun stuff."
Crow said the title is intended as a reminder that "in chaos
there is beauty everywhere and it's important not to miss that."
The Tour de France -- which whirls clockwise around the country
in a blur of bright colors, heaving crowds, monstrous mountains and
eccentric people -- is a form of chaos she prefers.
"Cycling is like rock festivals like Glastonbury," Crow said.
"A lot of bands and a lot of fans. They may be into one band but
they'll stay and get into other bands. It's similar in bike racing,
you have all these teams showing up and all these invested fans who
are into the spirit of the event. A very community feeling
However, there is one drawback to being on the road with a
"He's better about shaving his legs than I am," Crow said.
"The pressure's on me to keep my legs smooth."