But, during the 2004 tour, Armstrong deviated from the "pro" look, wearing black socks on the day he won stage 13.
In response to Cyclingnews' question about the black socks, Armstrong responded:
I didn't have white socks in my bag today, so I put on the black ones...I know the black socks are a little bit controversial, but I sort of like them. I gave a pair to George and he likes them too. If the weather's a little cloudy, they fit the day. I'll probably wear white socks from now on.
Sure enough, the next day, back in white.
But, here's Armstrong wearing black socks the very next day, during a very tough stage 15. He won the stage and the yellow jersey.
Stage 16, the Alpe d'Huez TT, still in black.
The superstitions of the peloton are well documented. Did Armstrong get superstitious after stage 13, thereby wearing the black socks on each subsequent critical stage ?
I did some digging and discovered that at one time the UCI required white socks.
Bicycle Planet, in a story about DeFeet's Shane Cooper, reported:
From the beginning, Cooper broke traditional molds. "UCI rules said that socks had to be white and have only the sock manufacturer's logo on it," he remembers, "but when we made the [blue and yellow] GAN sock for LeMond's team in 1994, people loved it, and the rules adapted."
White or black? It's your choice.
Photos: cyclingnews, PEZ.