Another opportunity to cast a benign influence over poll results for the benefit of cycling: ESPN is polling for the best male athlete in the world, giving cyclists an opportunity to vote for Lance Armstrong.

Of course, this being an American based poll, your only other choice is also an American, Michael Vick, an American Football player before you ask. To be fair, the last two were whittled down to in voting rounds from an original field of 64 including some interesting, not to say token, world representation. Ignoring ice hockey and baseball and sticking to what we know, have they really placed 19-year-old US 'soccer' star Freddy Adu alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane? And what is Beckham doing in there?

Looking at the results of head-to-head round polls it's pretty obvious what the voting contingent is - Matthew Pinsent is swiftly despatched by US gymnast Paul Hamm and Thierry Henry is the only non-US sportsman to make it to the quarterfinals: By the semis it's an all-American affair.

It did cross our minds to snub this poll as a warped irrelevance, but it's gone this far now and in the spirit of 'if you can't beat 'em', we think we should do what we can to wrestle a victory from it by voting for Lance. He is, after all, arguably the best athlete in the world and that is supposed to be the point. So, if you care a jot then cast your vote.

To shake your head or nod approval over the vagaries of the early rounds click here.