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Enough Armchair Lance Bashing!

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Been wanting to rant about something for a while, this is only a rant....

Let me say straight out...I am no Lance fan. I would have preferred that he stayed retired. There is all kinds of smoke around him from his first go round as a pro, as well as his second go round. We all know the stories.

That said, give it a rest. Stop *****ing and moaning, bringing up the same info (accurate or not). Stop crashing any thread about anyone else and adding a comment about Lance being a doper. I am not talking about something that might happen today or in the future. I am referring to tired stories we have all heard countless times before. Until some new info comes along, could we agree to leave the past lie?

I say this because I have always been the type to step in and defend someone who is getting ganged up on. With all the people on this forum that club Lance like he is a defensless baby seal, I am starting to feel sympathy for him...and I do not like it!

Thank you for your time.

...Rant over.
 
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To me it comes across as a reverse trend. When Armstrong was winning his first two Tours and the period just after, I remember reading a lot of very enthusiastic messages about him. The big villain, in those days, was Marco Pantani. He was a doper ofcourse, while Armstrong was winning his races clean. Richard Virenque was also a frequent target.

Those simple black/white distinctions have largely collapsed. More damaging than the accusations against Armstrong himself, however, have been the cases against Hamilton and Landis. I think Armstrong's initial internet fanbase adopted them as new heroes, expecting them to do almost as well. When the opposite proved to be true, there followed a backlash in which nothing was sacred anymore, and perhaps the initial fans discovered that there had been a large group of sceptics all the time. In 2000, they had their suspicions but didn't state them as explicitly. Now, a lot more has come to the surface.

What worked in 2000 were appeals to a certain mentality that Armstrong supposedly embodied. Armstrong the cancer survivor, Armstrong the single-minded athlete, who would scout the climbs of the Tour many more times than any other rider and let his life revolve completely around those few days in june when he needed to be at his very best. Problem with those caricatures was that they implied other riders were not serious about their profession, which is simply unfair. At the same time, geopolitical events made American patriottism an international issue. Armstrong came to personify the idea that 'Old Europe' was set in its ways of doping and that new training methods could overcome those old-fashioned reprehensible habits. Hamilton and Landis, however, made short work of the term 'doped europros'. The halo around Lance Armstrong shortly followed. What resulted was a fanbase surprised and angry because of the backlash and another group of cycling fans all too happy to tear down the myth of a new clean cycling, that had been bothering them all along, but coming across an irrational barrier of defence around American doping suspects.

So I see agitation against Armstrong as a critique of that general idea that he embodied early in his career and that he desperately tried to revive in his 'farewell' speech ("I'm sorry for those wo don't believe in miracles"). There have always been fans who do not believe in miracles and think that doping culture was constantly present before and after 1998. They tend to target Armstrong above others because he and his fans have made him a symbol of something they don't believe exists: new, clean cycling. What has added fuel to this fire is the fact that the dichotomy was sometimes painted in a very unfair way - "The good old posties, with Eki, Frankie, Big George, Tyler and LANCE against the doped europros" (I'm exaggerating but you understand my point) which polarized the fans too much.

Doping is a complex problem and exposing Armstrong won't solve much - in fact it would be more damaging to cycling than we like to see. However, it would be good to explicitly say goodbye to the myth that Armstrong the Patriot is a Good Man who Does Not Dope, but Trains More Effectively Than Anyone Else and Therefore Wins Races Against Evil Dopers. Looking at the frantic way Landis was defended, however, I know it is difficult to say goodbye to such cherished notions, so if we would just forget about the 'good' and 'evil' parts, we'd have made excellent progress already.
 
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BanProCycling said:
Well said, but you do realise some people are going to think you're me?

The Armstrong bashers just can't help it though. They won't stop the hate. It's now a religious type ritual. There is something about his success and his personality that drives them potty.

Until a few weeks ago I would have argued that the absence of a positive test provided a reasonably compelling argument in favor of LA. I have had my eyes opened by infomation posted by Race Radio (I prefer Eva Maria), TFF and a host of others. The evidence leaves very little doubt about the hypocricy of LA, the total corruption of the UCI, powerful DS's as well as many other riders, physios, physicians, etc. Pro Cycling is an extremely messy sport.

The duplicity displayed by those that are corrupt is what makes me think that all of those involved (LA in particular) deserve the contempt they get X 1000. The hubris of LA is like a constant dragging of fingernails on a chalkboard.

I feel sorry for those who continue to believe that the sport is largely clean with a few that have been corrupted. It is clearly the other way around.
 
Lance bashing is not solely related to whether he doped or not, it is also due to his behaviour, the bullying of Christophe Bassons, his actions in regards to Filippo Simeoni, his duplicitious behaviour towards AC this year, his disrespecting of riders(Sastre/Vandevelde) the way he treated those who left his inner circle, his blatant use of nationalism & stereotyping to slam the French (Cavendish was recently slammed for saying '****ing Frenchies' or something, mild compared to Lances jibe a few years back about the French soccer team testing positive for being assholes). Who remembers that.I could go on and on but if anybody can find a rider who committed as many unclassy deeds in recent times, then please direct us in their direction.

The best thing Lance ever done was retire, the worst thing he ever done was come back. When he is around, too much time, media etc is devoted to him taking away from the rest of the sport. All he brings to the sport is those who know nothing about the sport, who want to know nothing about the sport other than Lance and spend their time defending him based on what he says.

Quite simply, find me another rider who is so easy to dislike.
 
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Jonathan said:
To me it comes across as a reverse trend...
[snip]

Excellent post.

pmcg76 said:
All he brings to the sport is those who know nothing about the sport, who want to know nothing about the sport other than Lance and spend their time defending him based on what he says.

I think it is a little unfair to paint all of the people who came to cycling because of Lance with that brush. I think there are people who became interested in cylcing because of him and continued to learn more about it.

I would have been happier if he'd remained retired.

In terms of doping, I think the peleton is getting cleaner than it has been. I don't believe it is clean, but it is more so than it has been in a long time. I don't think Lance's return helps that.
 
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Scott SoCal said:
Until a few weeks ago I would have argued that the absence of a positive test provided a reasonably compelling argument in favor of LA. I have had my eyes opened by infomation posted by Race Radio (I prefer Eva Maria), TFF and a host of others. The evidence leaves very little doubt about the hypocricy of LA, the total corruption of the UCI, powerful DS's as well as many other riders, physios, physicians, etc. Pro Cycling is an extremely messy sport.

The duplicity displayed by those that are corrupt is what makes me think that all of those involved (LA in particular) deserve the contempt they get X 1000. The hubris of LA is like a constant dragging of fingernails on a chalkboard.

I feel sorry for those who continue to believe that the sport is largely clean with a few that have been corrupted. It is clearly the other way around.

I've been gone way too long, anyway welcome to the light side, I chose light because we can see clearly. Great post.
 
I find that I agree with most all of the above postings, excepting of course BPC's usual response. Does that make me conflicted? Or is it ok to both agree with TFF and others that the full story does need to be told over and over, while also wishing like the OP that it didn't have to work its way into just about every thread.
 

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**Uru** said:
Been wanting to rant about something for a while, this is only a rant....

Let me say straight out...I am no Lance fan. I would have preferred that he stayed retired. There is all kinds of smoke around him from his first go round as a pro, as well as his second go round. We all know the stories.

That said, give it a rest. Stop *****ing and moaning, bringing up the same info (accurate or not). Stop crashing any thread about anyone else and adding a comment about Lance being a doper. I am not talking about something that might happen today or in the future. I am referring to tired stories we have all heard countless times before. Until some new info comes along, could we agree to leave the past lie?

I say this because I have always been the type to step in and defend someone who is getting ganged up on. With all the people on this forum that club Lance like he is a defensless baby seal, I am starting to feel sympathy for him...and I do not like it!

Thank you for your time.

...Rant over.

Good post - believe it or not I share your frustration.

I have never started a thread on Lance - I also don't believe I bash Lance.

Make no mistake Lance is not defenseless- there are a number posters who defend him. Many of those I have good time for and I respect their opinion.
Indeed I had a good debate with Scribe on the SCA case- I backed up my position with facts that can be easily found online.

I believe I presented an honest case with the facts - my role was to present the facts, it is up to the reader to decide what to do with that and make their opinions accordingly. If they wish to disagree with my stance than we can agree to disagree.

Occasionally however, a Lance supporter comes on this forum and starts protecting Lance by omitting the facts or suggesting others lied.

You mentioned how you always defend those who are getting ganged up on. I share that sense of duty - but to protect the truth.
So whenever someone posts an inaccuracy I will be in quick to correct them.

I don't care about Lance - I too wish he had stayed retired.
 
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BPC, if you're posts actually added something to the argument instead of seeking to belittle others for their lack of 'morals' and 'greatness' you might get further.

But then paid chimps like you wouldn't understand that.

Of course all who were brought into the sport by Armstrong haven't remained uninformed 3WFs, but it would be fair to say that when Armstrong retired he took most of those he brought to the sport with him. He is a phenomenon in that he transcends the sport and has become a celebrity - but transcending the sport and developing crossover appeal as a celebrity does not make him bigger than the sport. Nor does it place him above scrutiny or should it inhibit the kind of critical thinking that Scott is engaging with.

Having said which, there's a world of difference between scrutiny and critical thinking and taking cheap shots in any and every thread.
 
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**Uru** said:
Been wanting to rant about something for a while, this is only a rant....

Let me say straight out...I am no Lance fan. I would have preferred that he stayed retired. There is all kinds of smoke around him from his first go round as a pro, as well as his second go round. We all know the stories.

That said, give it a rest. Stop *****ing and moaning, bringing up the same info (accurate or not). Stop crashing any thread about anyone else and adding a comment about Lance being a doper. I am not talking about something that might happen today or in the future. I am referring to tired stories we have all heard countless times before. Until some new info comes along, could we agree to leave the past lie?

I say this because I have always been the type to step in and defend someone who is getting ganged up on. With all the people on this forum that club Lance like he is a defensless baby seal, I am starting to feel sympathy for him...and I do not like it!

Thank you for your time.

...Rant over.

If you are a troll, then congratulations.... because there is no better way to have a thread full of "Lance bashing" than to start a thread telling everyone to stop Lance bashing.

If you are not a troll, and this thread is serious, then I am afraid that you have failed miserably in your quest.....
 
BanProCycling said:
It all comes out....



Maybe you're blowing these incidents out of proportion and holding LA to a higher standard simply because he is the most famous cyclist. Disputes and tiffs go on in cycling all the time.

How can a cycling fan not welcome back to the sport a living legend that won 7 tours in a row, on the basis of this petty nonsense? Maybe the character flaw is more with you than him. That goes for others too. You think spouting venom about Armstrong in bad faith ruins his reputation, but it actually reflects badly on those who are doing it.

I know one thing for sure and that is I was a Lance fan long before you even knew who he was. I can go right back to 1990 on Lance. Re-Read the Dr.Maserati post on another thread about his time following Lance. My own experiences are more or less a replica.

Perhaps you are right, Lance is bigger than any other cyclist so is therefore a bigger fraud than any of the rest. There are other cycists I dont like, Pozzato for example but we dont have to listen about him all the time. I like my sporting heros to have a bit of class and respect. I repeat the question, you find me a cyclist who has acted as poorly as Lance has and I will agree with you.

As for character flaws, I dont like Lance but you try find me one person on here pro or anti Lance who says I badmouth Lance the way some do, I dont do namecalling, I leave his personal life alone and try to stay away from his cancer work. My dislike of Lance is based purely on his behaviour in the sport based on 20 years of observation. I followed this sport in the time he was retired, did you?
 
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pmcg76 said:
Lance bashing is not solely related to whether he doped or not, it is also due to his behaviour, the bullying of Christophe Bassons, his actions in regards to Filippo Simeoni, his duplicitious behaviour towards AC this year, his disrespecting of riders(Sastre/Vandevelde) the way he treated those who left his inner circle, his blatant use of nationalism & stereotyping to slam the French (Cavendish was recently slammed for saying '****ing Frenchies' or something, mild compared to Lances jibe a few years back about the French soccer team testing positive for being assholes). Who remembers that.I could go on and on but if anybody can find a rider who committed as many unclassy deeds in recent times, then please direct us in their direction.

The best thing Lance ever done was retire, the worst thing he ever done was come back. When he is around, too much time, media etc is devoted to him taking away from the rest of the sport. All he brings to the sport is those who know nothing about the sport, who want to know nothing about the sport other than Lance and spend their time defending him based on what he says.

Quite simply, find me another rider who is so easy to dislike.

Depends, Bub. Perhaps the worst thing he did was to retire. If he had continued he would have won at least 9 tours by now, so think about that. And the best thing he did was to come out of retirement because it amped up the interest in cycling on boards such as this and in the sport as a whole.
 

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Cobber said:
If you are a troll, then congratulations.... because there is no better way to have a thread full of "Lance bashing" than to start a thread telling everyone to stop Lance bashing.

If you are not a troll, and this thread is serious, then I am afraid that you have failed miserably in your quest.....

I do think **Uru** was genuine in his frustrations - but I too felt it was only a matter of time before it was again going to descend in to the usual thread.

What I find interesting is that every poster responded to the **Uru** original post and was giving their reasons why they like/dislike LA.

But then BPC responds to Pmcg76's post - and defends Lance, taking the thread away from the original post. I wonder why they feel the need to protect LA so vigorously.

For example, I think the following doped:
Menchov
Contador

I actually have little to go on to back that up except their suspect performances and that Menchov is linked to Vienna and there is a bag in Puerto with AC.

Is anyone going to jump to defend these riders? Am I a Menchov/Contador hater? Will someone say they were all at it so its ok?
 
BanProCycling said:
One reads lots of stories about bust ups in teams. But you don't hear about all of them because they are not deemed important enough. It's only because there is this huge focus on Armstrong that he seems like a particular arsehole. I just see it as part of sport really.

In that case, ONE shouldn't have trouble telling us about these stories, because there are lots of them according to you.
 
BanProCycling said:
The thread is about Armstrong bashing, and people were making their case for why they engage in fruit cakery about Armstrong. Naturally that leads to others, myself, reminding them about the fruit cakery.



But are never talked about. You're very American centric.

Lol...you can hardly name a cyclist outside of Lance.
 

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BanProCycling said:
The thread is about Armstrong bashing, and people were making their case for why they engage in fruit cakery about Armstrong. Naturally that leads to others, myself, reminding them about the fruit cakery.



But are never talked about. You're very American centric.



If there is a big smear campaign against them that one feels is unjustified, then I would defend then. I'd have to see how it panned out. Start one and see how it goes.

I dont know what American centric means - so I cant confirm or deny that.

However - I am not American,if that helps.

Also I said Menchov and Contador doped - with little evidence, hardly a small smear?
 
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