Lance Armstrong A Lying Loser
How an American Icon Became an American Villian
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 17:02
For the past decade, Lance Armstrong was considered by many to be not only the greatest American cyclist of all time, but possibly even the greatest athlete of all time. In light of recent events, it has become evident that he is nothing more than a fraud. He manipulated the entire sport of cycling throughout much of his career, and the only list of results from this century that now has him as number one is Forbes’s listing of America’s Most Disliked Athletes.
For years Lance adamantly stated that he was a clean rider and never used performance-enhancing drugs. He would cite the fact that he never tested positive despite taking hundreds of doping control tests. A month ago, in the aftermath of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report that detailed how he and his teams cheated the system for years, Lance confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he did in fact dope and that in his opinion, it is impossible for anyone to win the Tour de France without the assistance of performance enhancing drugs.
However, while it may seem that he was finally seeking forgiveness for his past actions, it was likely for more selfish reasons. He claimed that he never again doped after his victory at the Tour in 2005, a claim that the USADA’s report disagrees with.
This is significant because cooperation with the anti-doping agencies could reduce his lifetime ban to only eight years, which would be this year if he could prove 2005 as the end of his sins.
This would allow him to return to competition in triathlons and marathons. While several current riders have expressed sympathy towards Lance, others like Britain’s Mark Cavendish have expressed the wish that he would forever disappear from cycling. Defending Tour de France champion and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins also expressed disgust with Lance and feels that he destroyed the reputation of the race and sport that Wiggins worked so hard to dominate in last year. Even though many other riders of his era were doping, it does not mean that Lance was the best rider of an even field, but that he was
better at doping than anyone else.
Regardless of the whole Lance Armstrong controversy, the future of American cycling appears bright.
First, new procedures have gone into effect and investigations have begun to try to finally bring the era of doping in sports to an end. Secondly, the new generation of American cyclists has already begun to demonstrate that they will be a dominant force in the years ahead.
Last year, Washington native Tejay van Garderen finished fifth overall in the Tour de France and claimed the white jersey of the best young rider classification at only 23 years of age.
His season also included top 5 overall finishes at the prestigious Paris-Nice race, which kicks off the European season in March, as well as at the Tour of California and the U.S.A. Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. He is widely considered to be America’s greatest hope for winning the Tour de France in the near future. His teammate Taylor Phinney is another bright star for the future of American cycling. At just 22 years old, Phinney experienced success at the Giro d’Italia and the U.S.A. Pro Cycling Challenge to go along with his fourth place finishes in both the Olympic Road Race and Time Trial.
A third but lesser known young American to keep an eye out for is 24-year-old Andrew Talansky. His breakout race was the Vuelta a España last fall, in which he placed seventh.
As if the sport of cycling wasn’t tough enough already, these three riders have also been given the task of righting all of the wrongs the previous generation committed. They certainly seem to be up to the challenge.