Lance Armstrong’s autobiography was titled “Its not about the Bike.” An apt title if ever there was one, especially in light of events unfolding in recent weeks.
The question is was Armstrong all along having a laugh at the expense of rest of us?
The one thing that has shone through in all of the evidence, and in fact even in his book, is that Armstrong is incredibly self-centred. With so much evidence against him, including his own team mates speaking out against him, one would expect a decent man to come clean. If not for his own peace of mind but for the overall good of the sport that supposedly he loved and gave him so many opportunities. Regrettably that is unlikely to happen as the legal and financial ramifications to Armstrong are far too great.
It speaks volumes in a sport such as Cycling when you rely so heavily on your team mates, for one of them to speak out and dump on another. One has to ask was Armstrong truly a team player or was it ultimately all about him?
When one goes back and re-reads some of the things that he has said over the years one has to wonder whether the whole time he was sitting back lapping up the adulation and laughing at everyone. One quote in particular seems more apt now than ever before, “This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it; Study it; Tweak it; Listen to it.” Were we all so blinded by his comeback that we maybe missed him possibly laughing at us all?
He has avoided an official statement in response to the US Anti Doping Agency’s findings, and also in response to Cycling’s World body, UCI stripping him of his seven Tour de France wins, all that he has done is remove a reference from winning the Tour on seven occasions from his Twitter account. If you visit the Livestrong website for his Cancer charity, there is absolutely no reference to his cycling career in his profile. Draw your own conclusions from such moves.
One quote that maybe explains Armstrong best comes from an interview he gave Playboy magazine in 2005 in that article he said “Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that’s not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing.”
Maybe this quote gives us an insight as to why he has remained silent, he has lost and will no doubt be hurting. He may not have lost financially, but he has lost credibility and respect, which would have undoubtedly hurt his ego.
Surely he realised the ride had to come to an end at some point? If he feels hurt, there are no doubt many cancer survivors and sufferers who now question his integrity, and they will be deeply hurt. So too are the millions of Cycling fans who wanted to believe that his story was a truly remarkable victory over adversity.
If he does come clean maybe his next book giving us all the inside straight should be entitled “Taken for a Ride.”