Tour de france


V.23 No.27 |

news

The Daily Word in patriotism, spying and scared dogs

The Daily Word

Fireworks scared Albuquerque's dog population, and a local veteran's service dog ran away.

LANL is busy determining whether organic cat litter caused the fire at WIPP.

A local veteran is frustrated with the Veteran's Administration.

If you can't turn on your phone, it will not be allowed on some US-bound airplanes.

How a paraplegic Brazilian porcupine gets around.

90 percent of those surveilled by the NSA are innocent.

Hurricane Arthur hit New Brunswick, Canada pretty hard.

"Try burning this one" and other stupid patriotic tattoos.

Remote controlled birth control.

Germany is retaliating against American espionage by starting to spy on American spies.

Tour De France selfies are dangerous.

V.22 No.3 | 1/17/2013
Footage of Armstrong confiding in Oprah

sports

Lance Armstrong Confesses to PED Use

Oprah can get anybody to talk

It's official in all but the most limited capacities now: Oprah Winfrey has confirmed that Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs. The interview was apparently so intense (or somebody really needs the ratings so badly) that it's going to be split into two parts. The first half will air tomorrow night, as originally planned, but the second half will be shown on Friday, extending Lance's confession into movie-length territory. This seems appropriate for a used-to-the-publicity Armstrong. When he was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently told that there was a significant chance he wouldn't live, he beat the odds. After that, he went on to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France races in a row. After retiring from the sport in 2004, he made a comeback that went better than anyone had a right to expect. He maintained his innocence all that time, despite the cloud of PEDs hanging over cycling in general, and the news of other winners being stripped of their titles. He continuously flaunted his 100% pass rate of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's tests, despite claims from others that he shouldn’t have been able to do so.

But last year, when news broke that the World Anti-Doping Agency and its U.S.-based affiliate had finally accumulated enough evidence against Armstrong, he retreated. He said he wouldn't be “hounded anymore.” He said he wouldn't legitimize their witch hunt against him. And the general public started to doubt. They started to waver in their commitment to the man who made cycling a topic at all in America. And most of all, there were some who felt duped. Not just by the sporting accomplishments of Armstrong, but by arguably the biggest category of his life, the one thing conspicuously missing from his bio thus far: his super successful charity, Livestrong.

It's hard to separate the story of Lance Armstrong, world-renowned cyclist and recently-admitted doper, from the story of Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and advocate. Some argue that it's impossible. Because of the amazing work that Armstrong did in raising awareness of the disease and the incredible funds his foundation has raised in fighting its spread, his doping case doesn't seem to be as clear cut as the baseball Hall of Fame voters seem to think their era's cloud is. There were claims, after the news broke last year about Armstrong's doping, that Livestrong donations increased. There were also individuals who said they felt cheated and they wanted their donations back.

And therein lies the rub in the case of Lance Armstrong. Some feel "hoodwinked" and others feel like his inspirational message trumps all else. Why is he confessing to Oprah now? We won't know until everything's out, and the show doesn't air its first part until tomorrow. But as contrite as Armstrong may be, as much as he may want to focus on moving forward with triathlons or re-focusing on the good the Livestrong foundation does in its fight against cancer, there will be some who never forget or forgive. Armstrong doesn't always put his best foot forward and it will be interesting, to say the least, to see where he goes from here.

V.19 No.30 | 7/29/2010

Sports

Lance Armstrong Will Not Win the Tour de France

At this point, that's old news. Everyone who follows cycling (and pretty much everyone who doesn't, as well) has long since come to terms with the fact that the once-unbeatable Armstrong is, at this point, old. In his own words, he's “just not fast enough.” He has acknowledged that, “ Lance Armstrong is over in about four days,” joining the rest of the world in celebrating and mourning his last race.

So why does this matter? Cycling always was and always will be bigger than just one man, right? The Tour de France this year is coming down to the wire, with a mere 8 seconds separating the current leader, Alberto Contador, from the second-place rider, Andy Schleck. The next stage, taking place in the Pyrenees on Thursday, promises to be drama-filled.

Still, at least here in America, there's Armstrong. He of the superhero name. He of the gravity-defying odds. He of the Livestrong organization. Armstrong captivates our collective imagination because of his story, because of his proto-American attitude and, perhaps, most of all, because of the way he refused to quit.

There are more than a few people the world over who do not believe that Armstrong accomplished what he did by legal or fair means. The constant hunt for him in the French press has gotten plenty of attention in the past, and just this month Andrew Corsello wrote a damning piece for GQ (which doesn't appear to be online in any version other than PDF for the iPad) where he claimed that Armstrong has lied so vehemently and for so long, he has no choice but to continue the lie.

So why does it matter that Armstrong will not win the Tour de France? It matters precisely for the aforementioned responses: People the world over, not just in America, react viscerally to Armstrong as a person and as a symbol. His story sparks people's hopes and dreams and the accusations against him spark our fears and nightmares. Beyond the overt symbolism, though, he matters as a person, too: He is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, a feat unmatched in history. He grabbed all of his victories in that race on successive trips. And he did all of this after being diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer. When he arrives on the Champs-Élysées, it will not be as a champion, almost against our expectations. And that's worth watching.