Thursday, November 6, 2008

Foot in his mouth

I must say that I've been looking at the Armstrong fiasco with some interest. In a time when cycling is suffering some serious image problems i thought that with his return we could see the cycling community to use this to get some positive spin in our crazy upside down world. I mean the US has just elected a black president, who would of bet on that five years ago? So we definitely are in times of change although cycling seems to take its lead on the other side of the Atlantic. Europeans though are old school, change is no good. The ASO and German television is still stuck in the ice ages with their school ground fighting and sulking tactics of getting to the bottom of a problem. Not to mention the impotent UCI who can't make up their minds and of course bend the rules every now and then so get around certain problems. I believe the greatest problem is consistancy. This can be shown in Armstrongs latest comments on returning to the tour: "So, I have to find this balance of 'do I want to try to go for an eighth Tour or help the team win a Tour' or 'do I want to help further the international cancer campaign' and all this over the animosity that exists"
Now don't get me wrong, I really want to see him riding for the yellow jersey again. I'd like to se if he could pull it off. I don't understand why the ASO doesn't use this to increase their veiwership during the race. I mean every American will be rooting for their boy and the rest of the world too. We would all be anticipating something to happen, thats what would ignite some passion back into the riders. But back to my consistancy complaint, when Mr Armstrong decided to announce his comeback from retirement these were his words: "I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden"
So we were all under the impression that he was going to be doing this for the cause. To raise awareness and focus attention back onto cancer. As the most famous survivor of the disease he would surely make the best role model, not to mention the awesome Livestrong organisation that has been devleoped to support the cause. There were questions straight away as to why he was returning. To proove a point? To show he did it all clean? Boredom?
Well what I see in his intial statement it was to raise awareness. He even got an early go ahead from the UCI, an example of the rule bending I mentioned. Now its the Tour or the campaign. Come on Lance be honest with us!! If you want to rasie awareness and see the bad vibes being created from the ASO why do it. I understand that it is the biggest race in the world but if you want to promote awareness surely do it in a positive light. Also don't try to pull th ewool over our eye's and use this campaign as a proxy for you trying to get back into the racing scene, to settle some old score. But then again even bad publicity can be good...
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