Author Topic: Has the tour changed your opinion of Lance? (probably containing spoilers)  (Read 4357 times)

gonzo

Before the race I was a real Lance hater - he made the race incredibly dull. Now we're seeing him not winning anything he wants. On top of that, his media interaction is quite amusing.

I'm actually beginning to warm to him now.

How about the rest of you?

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Gonz, the word you're looking for is "gloat".

It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
I sort of liked the guy, but his return to the race annoyed me: let retirement be retirement, and don't come back and try to upset things for everyone else.  Still, I respect his uber-driven nature, combined with an actual sense of humour.

He's eaten a lot of shit over the last 2 weeks, apologising to Sastre and Vande Velde for his disparaging comments about them.  Tonight he is twittering about not having the high end power to keep up with the contenders.  I think he has added a dimension to this tour. 

No.
I've always thought him to be a decent chap. I remember Greg LeMond. He was always portrayed as an arrogant yank until after he retired and everyone seemed to like him more, or perhaps dislike him less.
I think the media attack him and it passes on to how people think of him.
My gut feeling tells me that he'll help Contador as much as he can. A team victory would still be a victory to him, if he believes all that he's said in the past.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if he has at least one attack in a mountain stage of his own up his sleeve. Even if he doesn't take Contador with him. Lance is a poker player and I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't totaly given up on a Tour win.
Is he on drugs?
I don't think so, but if he is, I doubt that he's worse than any other.

ChrisO

No, but it wasn't a particularly high one in the first place.

I never liked the way he has concentrated solely on the Tour.

I don't like the way that has influenced people who have been attracted to cycling and think that the Tour (and Armstrong) are the be all and end all.

I don't think he conducted himself appropriately in his retirement with his comments about other riders, or the modestly titled biography "Lance Armstrong: The World's Greatest Champion"

I don't believe his motives for coming back to racing. I suspect he thought he would come back and kick arse.

I hope he quits, shuts up and lets other people have their time at the top.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
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I've always been an Armstrong fan and I'm hoping there may yet be a twist in the tail tale
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.


I don't think he conducted himself appropriately in his retirement with his comments about other riders, or the modestly titled biography "Lance Armstrong: The World's Greatest Champion"


How do you feel about Muhammad "I am the Greatest" Ali?
Isn't it just about salesmanship? I think it's just how the americans do things. Ever listened to Don King promoting a boxing bout?
It does fly in the face of our British stiff upper lip.

I don't know his comments about other riders.
I also heard that Mark Cavendish made some pretty nast comments in his book "Boy Racer"
Is he just as bad as Lance?
Cavendish comes accross to me as a sore loser. (which amuses me :))

Ali was the greatest boxer ever.  Lance is merely the greatest TdF rider.  And what's more, that's all he set out to be.  I echo the comments about how he has built a career on one event, and how that has changed the sport to a certain degree.
I also consider him a hypocrite.  All the evidence points to him taking EPO in 99, and yet he not only denies it (fair enough - many do and he didn't get caught) but then goes on about others who admitted it or were caught...   And Kimmage has a fair point about him bringing the omerta culture back into the sport this year.

I think his return is about ego, it's distracted from the racing (and the press from the achievements of Cav and Wiggins) and I wish he'd just stayed retired. 

I can see the champs elysees headlines now (whoever wins the race/stage) - "Lance Armstrong retires again". ::-)

Yes it has. I quite liked him when he won the worlds and before was diagnosed with cancer. His 7 wins, the way he dulled the tour, his disrespect for the sport and his arrogance changed my view of him. I was glad when he retired first time.

ChrisO


I don't think he conducted himself appropriately in his retirement with his comments about other riders, or the modestly titled biography "Lance Armstrong: The World's Greatest Champion"


How do you feel about Muhammad "I am the Greatest" Ali?
Isn't it just about salesmanship? I think it's just how the americans do things. Ever listened to Don King promoting a boxing bout?
It does fly in the face of our British stiff upper lip.

I don't know his comments about other riders.
I also heard that Mark Cavendish made some pretty nast comments in his book "Boy Racer"
Is he just as bad as Lance?
Cavendish comes accross to me as a sore loser. (which amuses me :))

Ali, as Duncan has said, was the greatest. He was undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and what he said (in the present tense) was accurate at the time. He was also in a sport where such hyperbole is the norm.

Armstrong, Greatest Champion Ever - greater than Hinault, Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx ? Even he knows there are plenty who would dispute that. Plenty who would dispute that he might not have won the seven Tours had he ridden seriously in other races like the people to whom he compares himself.

He is in a sport where modesty and accessibility even among great champions is the typical behaviour. Perhaps he thinks boxing-style hyperbole is appropriate but that would be just another example of his disregard for the traditions.

The thread was about opinions of Armstrong so I don't see why Cavendish or anyone else comes into it.

His comments about others were that basically last year's Tour was crap and he would have walked it. I think of Vande Velde he said something like "Nice guy but 5th in the Tour de France, come on !" IIRC he had more to say about Sastre and others as well in a similar vein.

Retired top-dogs, like retired Prime Ministers, need to basically shut up for a few years or at least avoid making direct and unfavourable comments about their successors. Greg LeMond is another example of someone who has steadily chiseled away at his own dignity and credibility by becoming a grumpy old champion.

mattc

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Before the race I was a real Lance hater - he made the race incredibly dull. Now we're seeing him not winning anything he wants. On top of that, his media interaction is quite amusing.

I'm actually beginning to warm to him now.

How about the rest of you?
I never disliked* him ... but I did get bored of his effect on the Tour. (Some of that was down to the competition - most of them just raced each other for 2nd, which made it even easier for him).

I have warmed to him this year though. It's a brave step setting himself up to be knocked down like this. He must have known it could happen, he's not daft. It would have been easier to walk away undefeated.

But it ain't over yet - there's still time for a come back, or to act like a tit in defeat.

(*I really admire the guy, but I reckon he'd be awful company!)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

LEE

No.  He's a hero of mine.

What he's done in life and on the tour is extraordinary.

Wait 30 years and ask Joe Public to name 10 cyclists from over 10 years ago. 

They'll only be able to name 1 (and they will all be able to name him still).

Common complains:

1) He's arrogant.

Is he?  I never heard him being arrogant on any interview I watched, quite the opposite in fact.  I HAVE however heard lesser cyclists coming across as spoilt brats (Evans and Cavendish to name but 2) and nobody seems to mind.

2) He focussed on the TdF.

Well, that's what it takes to win 7 consecustive TdFs I guess.  The fella was nearly dead and then recovers to win 7 tours.

If he's arrogant and over-confident then I forgive him, it's probbaly justified.

Lee, ask Joe Public to name 3 road cyclists now.  They won't be able to.  They certainly won't be able to in 3 weeks when the Tour is over and cycling coverage in this country is over for another year.

It's all to do with hype and the fact that in this country (and the US), we only care about the Tour.  So that Armstrong never rode the Giro until last year doesn't matter, that he didn't ride the worlds for a number of years while winning the tour doesn't matter, etc.  It's an intelligent commercial decision to maximise his chances of winning the tour, making money and keeping a well funded team around him.  It's not the decision of the greatest champion ever.   It doesn't lessen my admiration for what he has achieved.  It does make me feel that the likes of Merckx are greater champions (and that's within the same sport, there are others elsewhere)...

clarion

  • Tyke
Yes, my opinion of Lance has changed a bit.  But that was started by his appearance in, and good ride in, the Giro. 

I used to dislike him.  He was a hotshot and he knew it.  And never really rode anything but the Tour.  But he's mellowed, and I think he's a good patron for the Tour.  I don't think he can win it, but I believe he can make a podium finish, which is pretty remarkable.
Getting there...

Riggers

  • Mine's a pipe, er… pint!
I like Lance. True, there have been elements to his character in the past within the TdF, that many of us find we dislike. I suppose a lot of people who are so driven, are like (or find they become) so.

Anyway, I really like Cancelara. What a happy sort of chap he is.
Certainly never seen cycling south of Sussex

Ali was the greatest boxer ever.  Lance is merely the greatest TdF rider. 

Ali was only the greatest heavyweight boxer of his time. I've heard boxing experts on radio all agree that he wasn't the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. Some said he wasn't even great, just very very good.
Like Lance Armstrong, who I think we all agree isn't the greatest champion, even greatest cyclist is similar to Muhammad Ali, in that Muhammad Ali wasn't the greatest fighter. He specialised in boxing. No kick boxing or martial arts. Just boxing and only as a heavyweight. Ali was "merely the greatest heavyweight boxer" of his time.



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He is in a sport where modesty and accessibility even among great champions is the typical behaviour. Perhaps he thinks boxing-style hyperbole is appropriate but that would be just another example of his disregard for the traditions.

I think that's why he's disliked as much as he is. We're just not used to this "bigging yourself up" business. I think that the hyperbole of boxing all originated from Ali, or at least he certainly moved it on in a very big way. That's another reason I like Lance so much. I think what he is doing has and will cotinue to bring cycling more into the public eye and increase it's popularity.
If it is in fact done in disregard of tradition, is it really so bad if it moves cycling forward?
Is it so very wrong to do things his way?
Why is the traditional way better?


Ali was the greatest boxer ever.  Lance is merely the greatest TdF rider.

Ali was only the greatest heavyweight boxer of his time. I've heard boxing experts on radio all agree that he wasn't the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. Some said he wasn't even great, just very very good.
Like Lance Armstrong, who I think we all agree isn't the greatest champion, even greatest cyclist is similar to Muhammad Ali, in that Muhammad Ali wasn't the greatest fighter. He specialised in boxing. No kick boxing or martial arts. Just boxing and only as a heavyweight. Ali was "merely the greatest heavyweight boxer" of his time.

I've never heard a panel of experts who agree that Ali wasn't the greatest ever heavyweight.  The other name people put forward is Rocky Marciano, and you won't get unanimity in that.  I don't understand what other weights have to do with it. ???    No-one goes down the weights, especially if they are a natural heavyweight as a teenager.  And Ali's competition was awesome.  Lance's competition was a fat Ullrich.  As for MMA, that's about as accurate as saying that Lance sucks at track and mountain biking.

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He is in a sport where modesty and accessibility even among great champions is the typical behaviour. Perhaps he thinks boxing-style hyperbole is appropriate but that would be just another example of his disregard for the traditions.

I think that's why he's disliked as much as he is. We're just not used to this "bigging yourself up" business. I think that the hyperbole of boxing all originated from Ali, or at least he certainly moved it on in a very big way. That's another reason I like Lance so much. I think what he is doing has and will cotinue to bring cycling more into the public eye and increase it's popularity.
If it is in fact done in disregard of tradition, is it really so bad if it moves cycling forward?
Is it so very wrong to do things his way?
Why is the traditional way better?

Because IMO he's not bringing cycling anywhere.  He's just focusing all the attention, and all the money into 1 race.  So if you can't get into the TdF, it's enormously difficult to get sponsorship.  And if you can't compete financially with his team, you can't think about winning the tour.  I think he damaged the rest of the sport.  Who else rode the odd classic as a training ride? Who else stopped racing after the Tour?
We've seen how much better the racing has been, and how much more uncertainty there has been at the Tour since he left.  The only public eye difference in the time I've been watching the Tour (pre-post Lance) is that it's moved from being half an hour on Channel 4 every evening, to being an hour on ITV4.  That's not progress or increased popularity.


Edit to say that this tour, and especially after yesterday's stage (just watched the highlights) he's generally been smart and sensible, and in credit with me.  I think that at the start his ego was writing cheques his body couldn't cash, but he's now accepted that. So kudos to him for that, especially if he rides for Contador from here on in...

Seineseeker

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Well I have slagged of Lance many times on this forum and it's predecessors. But not this time, I'm impressed all round with his attitude and his behaviour this time, and not just because he can't win. Even the French TV aren't giving him a hard time or delighting in his playing second fiddle to Contador. No thumbs up for Lance this time.

onb

  • Between jobs at present
This year has seen more press and tv coverage for the tour in the uk than I can remember,this is probably down to the Lance effect and and the GB successes ,so thats no bad thing ,I respect what he has done in coming back this year ,but I really dont want him to win,it demeans the race as it becomes the Tour de Lance and nobody should be bigger than the competition.
.

I also believe that Lance Armstrong played his part to popularise cycling in the early 21st Century.  I don't think he would have had such an impact had he not recovered from cancer, I mean had he not had cancer in the first place and subsequently recovered. That's what got him the publicity in 1999 and captured the interest of the general public.  Simply winning the Tour de France soon becomes tomorrows fish and chip paper. Obviously this latest comeback generated some publicity for the Tour de France too which is important.

rdaviesb

Lance's recognition that he his no longer the best has reinforced my respect for the man.

I've never heard a panel of experts who agree that Ali wasn't the greatest ever heavyweight.  The other name people put forward is Rocky Marciano, and you won't get unanimity in that.  


I have. Rocky Marciano was one of their favoured boxers, plus several from the early 20th century.


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I don't understand what other weights have to do with it. ???    No-one goes down the weights, especially if they are a natural heavyweight as a teenager.  And Ali's competition was awesome. 


Different weights need a slightly different style. It's quite common for some boxers to fight at a heavier weight category then slim down to fight at a lighter weight. A lot of boxing fans prefer lightweight boxing because they say it is more skilled.
I appreciate that comparing one sport to another is deeply flawed, but my point is that Muhammad Ali used to publicly mickey take and name call his opponents and claim to be the greatest and everyone seemed to like him. But Lance makes a few comments and he's an arrogant so and so. I personally think that a lot of that comes from media spin.
I see Lance on par with Muhammad Ali. Both have their advantages over each other and are very diferent in some ways. That's just my opinion though.


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Lance's competition was a fat Ullrich. 


Blimey! you're 'avin a go at Ullrich now! ;D I think that Ullrich was a very worthy oponent and made Lance suffer an awful lot. I'm sure that Lance has the upmost respect for Ullrich. Merckx thought that Ullrich was a very impressive rider. Some think it an injustice that such a talented rider who was a worthy TDF winner had Lance as his opponent.




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As for MMA, that's about as accurate as saying that Lance sucks at track and mountain biking



I agree, comparing fighting to cycling is very crude. But Merckx was an excellent trackie (I rate Merckx well above Lance and M Ali) Lance did some mountain biking too. Not as good a mountain biker as Merckx was a trackie, but still very good.
As above, I was more trying to compare the public image of M Ali to Lance because I see similarities between the two.
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Because IMO he's not bringing cycling anywhere.



Fair enough. I dissagree. I remember seeing his image in a post office while touring America in 2004. I think that he as made a significant impact on cycling in America. I could of course be very wrong.



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He's just focusing all the attention, and all the money into 1 race.



Well, I suppse he would do as he is very focused on the TDF and hs fans follow where he goes. Does that indicate that he's got people interested in ccling who ouldn't noramlly be? I think it does. And if so, I think that is good for cycling as it may inspire people to go and try riding a bike. From there, they can explore cycling for themselves.


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So if you can't get into the TdF, it's enormously difficult to get sponsorship.




It is, is that really all because of Lance?




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And if you can't compete financially with his team, you can't think about winning the tour. 



Dunno? Money certainly helps and there is a minimum cost. Isn't that just the way it's all going? It's all controlled by capitalism. (That's why I like Graeme Obree, he flew in the face of it all)



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I think he damaged the rest of the sport.  Who else rode the odd classic as a training ride? Who else stopped racing after the Tour?

Who else? Nobody that I know. That's another reason I respect Lance. Any other rider could have done it the Lance Armstrong way. But who was confident enough to base theirentire season on just one race? Not just any race, but the most prestigious in the world. I think that's a very ballsy thing to do. Maybe some would call it arrogant?
Cycling is changing. The TDF is avery different race to it's original. Cyclists are becoming more specialised and there are new types of cycling developing. I think that Lance is ahead of his time. Merckx rode (and won) everything. But if there was an Eddy Merckx clone riding now, he couldn't do it because there are too many events.




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We've seen how much better the racing has been, and how much more uncertainty there has been at the Tour since he left.



Another reason I admire him. To seemingly systematically win such a race is nothing short of awesome to me.

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The only public eye difference in the time I've been watching the Tour (pre-post Lance) is that it's moved from being half an hour on Channel 4 every evening, to being an hour on ITV4.  That's not progress or increased popularity.

But this is England, his domain is America really. Besides, media coverage is all about the allmighty dollar. It has to compete with popularist programmes and much more popular sports such as football.
At least as a non TV owner, I can watch it on the net. This is the first tour I've watched (from last week) for over a decade.

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Edit to say that this tour, and especially after yesterday's stage (just watched the highlights) he's generally been smart and sensible, and in credit with me.  I think that at the start his ego was writing cheques his body couldn't cash, but he's now accepted that. So kudos to him for that, especially if he rides for Contador from here on in...

I don't think it was about an ego trip. I just don't think that he thinks in that way.
Kudos to you too for being open minded. :thumbsup:

Really Ancien

Tomorrow is an opportunity for Lance. Voigt has crashed out. He was essentially the leader of the peleton. Armstrong was the 'Patron' for many of his tours. Voigt's role was to control the Tour so that it kept together. An emotional highpoint of Tour history was the stage after the death of Fabio Casartelli in 1995, when his  Motorola team rode over the line together in front of the Peleton. Lance won the next stage, his first in the Tour, the day after. With the memory of that incident, Lance could transform himself from a contender into a champion of his fellow riders. He has the status within the peleton to prolong his career by adopting Voigt's role, regulating the pace on the front over the early part of the stages and liaising between the Tour organisation and the riders. Much will depend on how seriously Voigt is seen to be hurt. Riders will be suspiscious of Armstrong wanting to muscle in too soon. If Lance gets it right he can ride 5 more tours in his new role as a respected elder statesman. We need to see how much riding up and down the peleton Lance does tomorrow.

Damon.

You don't think at 2nd in the GC he would still rather ride for a win ? If Contador punctures or crashes tomorrow Lance could overtake him.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.