Lance Armstrong, love or loathe, in 2019

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Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
I thought a lot of him at the time, but then found out the truth. It's the damage to others that he did I can't forgive - he can cheat, but drag all sorts of folk through 'legal proceedings' and more....

Oh and having a pop at good old Greg Lemond did it for me.
Lemond was no saint. See the 1982 World Championship road race.

Bonefish Blues

Banging donk
52 Festive Road
I never liked him as a human being but as a fellow testicular cancer surviving cyclist I saw him as an inspiration. So I was absolutely gutted when he was proved to be cheating. Actually he destroyed my love of professional cycling. I'll never forgive the daffodil.

Ian H

Ancient randonneur
Professional cycling has always been a dirty sport (the riders mostly scraped a living however they could for most of its history), but there was a camaraderie between them, and a code of honour, and they rode the season together. Armstrong nearly destroyed all that. The damage is still there.
I was worried he might crawl from under his rock at some point.


Eh up
He was the best of the best dopers, he was winning when a lot of his rivals were also doping, but the stories about his bullying ways are not an endearing trait, him getting caught and having his titles removed is probably the best thing that has happened to the sport, there were (and still are) plenty of lesser riders caught for doping, but would things have changed if Lance hadn't been outed?
I could just about forgive the doping (the sport was riddled with it before he reached the top level) if he were manipulated into doing it by team leaders/managers but at the level of involvement he had? Never.

He was the ringleader. One who used manipulation, coercion, cajoling, intimidation and bullying on people within his sphere to force them to dope and keep their silence, and who wielded his not-inconsiderable influence with searing aggression to destroy anyone who tried to get in his way.

I too found him to be hugely inspirational when I was foolish enough to believe that he was clean, which probably goes some way to explain why many successful people are sociopaths and how many sociopaths are successful.

According to a cursory google his net worth is still ~$50m. Not a bad amount for an egomaniacal narcissist whose arrogance nearly brought down an entire sport.

A thoroughly contemptible person, anyone who defends him now or thinks that he's changed is either deluded or intellectually dishonest.
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I'm sure he regrets the 'comeback' with Astana, but he's recently said that he'd do nothing different (that might be the interview in the OP, but I'm at work so I can't watch it) so maybe not.

I would imagine that he meant that - given the same set of circumstances - he'd do the same again. Those circumstances being a good cyclist coming to Europe and finding himself losing against good cyclists who were doping. As much as I'd like to pretend that I wouldn't dope, if my choice was a short career making up the numbers as a badly paid junior rider in a second division team, or winning stuff and getting better paid over a longer career, I think I'd choose the latter. The sheer number of top cyclists from that era who have admitted taking drugs, or were caught taking drugs, suggests that realistically you couldn't win without doping. That's a hard thing to come to terms with when you've committed to being the best you can be, especially as to do that you need to be a competitive, driven person anyway.

I guess if he'd not cheated, his cycling career would have lasted a few years, and he'd have gone back to Texas and done a normal job and become bitter and angry about being cheated out of his cycling career. As it is, he stood on the top of the podium in Paris seven times and has a reported $50 million. So at this stage, it would seem that he made the best choice for him, if not the sport. And yes, I am aware that by doing what he did, he ensured that other talented cyclists who would not dope had short careers and then couldn't get a ride.
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