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Has Armstrong changed the sport?

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Jun 28, 2009
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Nope. Armstrong has not changed the sport. You still have to push on two pedals and balance the bike on two wheels. And the winner is the first competitor to cross the finish line. :p
 
I'm in my late 40's and started racing during the LeMond era, and pretty much can vouch for everything said here.

Many races back then are now gone, or merely local races if they come off. And to me the Coors' Classic was a grander race than the ToC, for comparison's sake.

Apolitical said:
As an article recently said, most of the LA generation of cyclists can't even name another race besides the TdF (you can verify this yourself on a weekend ride). Whereas, the Lemond generation created racers.
Well put. I'd like to read that article.
 
May 26, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
......


And to me the Coors' Classic was a grander race than the ToC, for comparison's sake.

.......

The tour of Ireland was/is a 5day race, then LA shows up and its a 3 day, why? Appearance fee:mad:, but you can bet that McQuack pocketed some of that aswell as the race director. Same for ToC i bet. If i was Amgen i would be looking closely to see where the bucks went, i know they probably don't care.....but these guys (the LA crew) are like new CEO's who come into a company that is doing ok and make it worse, how? by creaming and stealing from it to enrich themsleves.:(

I bet UCI doesn't pay too well but i bet Heiny and Paddy are rich:mad:
 
Jul 27, 2010
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I know that I wouldn't be cycling if it weren't for Lance. My parents watched the Tour because of him and so I watched it. Really, he introduced me, and I think many others, to the sport.

He has also changed Versus coverage to make it only talk about him, so I guess there were positives and negatives to it . . .
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Fowsto Cope-E said:
I know that I wouldn't be cycling if it weren't for Lance.

No doubt, LA has increased the exposure and public acceptance of the sport. That's a good thing. But it isn't "transforming" the sport. And it certainly doesn't back up his defense of "I've done too many good things for too many people"...
 
Jul 27, 2010
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NashbarShorts said:
No doubt, LA has increased the exposure and public acceptance of the sport. That's a good thing. But it isn't "transforming" the sport. And it certainly doesn't back up his defense of "I've done too many good things for too many people"...

True. It's not like he invented the high cadence or a new way of training that riders now use. Since him, most GC riders still race quite a few races each year, not just 3 like he did.
 
May 26, 2010
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hrotha said:
I know the parts of the world that matter speak English and Armstrong may have had an impact there, but I don't think he's had much of an impact in the traditional cycling countries.

the only major impact is in USA where more people race bikes, not more major races, and that probably has to do with the people controlling the federation there more than a desire to make it bigger, rather then reinvesting in the sport, reinvesting in themselves...

...but the rest of the world i think it is minimal. very easy to check it out, see how many riders in the last 6/7 years have taken out pro licences. Price of fuel has led to more people using bikes than LA.

oh he has changed the colour of the socks. :D
 
No Effect

Lance Armstrong was a null to most aspects of cycling.

At the bike industry level, he contributed nothing. There aren't more shops. The shops that exist are still selling at about the same volume, only with a wider selection of bike styles. People working at shops aren't richer, or even get more respect for their craft. I still have lots of friends in shops in my very-urban area and fixies are hotter than Lance and have been for a while.

Riders are still coming and going from the sport at about the same rate with decent kit on Craigslist all the time.

After taking a 10 year break entirely away from the sport I come back to find most racing in my area exactly the same. Same amount/types of races, older fields. (USAC's role in shrinking the sport is rarely discussed. WTF has Weisel been doing?)

I only ride mountain bikes now and see lots more people (mostly wealthy Type-A's whom I bury on 20 year old pro gear. :D ) out on weekends. I see much fewer during the week though. I think the casual road rider has slightly increased due to changes in roads policies and increased bike comfort options, not Pharmstrong.

What's actually different is the ESPN watcher knows a cyclist or two. Pharmstrong and Cav are the two I hear about.
 
Hugh Januss said:
They were that big. Lots of them are racing masters.

Yep. First USCF license in 1977 as an Intermediate (anyone remember those days)? Was soooo happy Greg was older and racing with the seniors while I was a junior. By the time I was a Senior Cat 1, Greg was off in Europe.

33 years later, back down to a Cat 2, but still racing masters (and no SRM to watch the painful decline).
 
Realist said:
....Do the old timers know what happened to the big junior fields from days gone by? If they really were like that?

I believe, at least in part, the junior fields disappeared in the '90s due to beginning of the computer and soccer mom ages. Kids are home on their computers and when they're not they're being shuffled around by their parents to soccer (skate board parks, etc). Places where they can be supervised. Biking isn't conducive to supervision unless a parent is a cyclist.

Did you know kids today cover less than 10% of the areas around their homes than they did 30 years ago? They say this number is still steadily shrinking. I can vouch for riding my BMX bike across town to the local track in the 70's. Then taking the bike apart so I can take it on the bus to go home. This was in a decent sized city too.
 
DirtyWorks said:
Lance Armstrong was a null to most aspects of cycling.

At the bike industry level, he contributed nothing. There aren't more shops. The shops that exist are still selling at about the same volume, only with a wider selection of bike styles. People working at shops aren't richer, or even get more respect for their craft. I still have lots of friends in shops in my very-urban area and fixies are hotter than Lance and have been for a while.

Riders are still coming and going from the sport at about the same rate with decent kit on Craigslist all the time.

After taking a 10 year break entirely away from the sport I come back to find most racing in my area exactly the same. Same amount/types of races, older fields. (USAC's role in shrinking the sport is rarely discussed. WTF has Weisel been doing?)

I only ride mountain bikes now and see lots more people (mostly wealthy Type-A's whom I bury on 20 year old pro gear. :D ) out on weekends. I see much fewer during the week though. I think the casual road rider has slightly increased due to changes in roads policies and increased bike comfort options, not Pharmstrong.

What's actually different is the ESPN watcher knows a cyclist or two. Pharmstrong and Cav are the two I hear about.

Umm according to the Earth Policy Institute, bicycle production has quadrupled since 1970 http://www.earthpolicy.org/index.php?/indicators/C48/
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Lance has provided a temporary bump in the overall interest in in bicycle racing, and bicycling as a trickle down.

As many saw in the early 90's, MTB's were a huge fad, and then with Lance, the road bike came back.

The bicycle industry is far more subject to general economic conditions than the impact from one person, no matter how big, because if you don't have the money, you won't be buying a new bike.

I think there are several factors where Armstrong has impacted the technical side of cycling. He is a rider who started on titanium and steel bikes, and moved over to carbon, so that is significant, as he won the biggest races on each.

I also think he can be credited (good or bad) for narrowing focus on the Tour. Riders have done that in the past but not to the same level. When there was a World Cup, there was a better emphasis on an annual series, whereas with the Pro Tour, GT's are part of the points, so it places greater emphasis on winning a GT. The classics are still that, classic, but have less emphasis to the casual fan, though avid fans will still follow the whole season.

I think the greatest impact Lance will have is coming: his undoing.

It will be a true cautionary tale: Winning at all costs, costs all.

The investigation into whether doping was in employ during his Tour wins, subsequent fraud on the US Fed Govt, and his role as key architect of the scheme with his minions, will lead to a very ugly ending.

The bottom line, in cycling and all sports, will be that cheaters may win in the short term but do not ultimately win.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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xmoonx said:
Umm according to the Earth Policy Institute, bicycle production has quadrupled since 1970 http://www.earthpolicy.org/index.php?/indicators/C48/

According to that chart, it increased roughly 20% since 2000, worldwide. I'm not sure you can attribute increased bike sales in countries other than the U.S. to Armstrong. However, I have no doubt that Armstrong's success was the number one factor boosting sales of Trek in the U.S. (although that has certainly tapered in the last few years with the success of Specialized and Cervelo).
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Colm.Murphy said:
Lance has provided a temporary bump in the overall interest in in bicycle racing, and bicycling as a trickle down.

As many saw in the early 90's, MTB's were a huge fad, and then with Lance, the road bike came back.

The bicycle industry is far more subject to general economic conditions than the impact from one person, no matter how big, because if you don't have the money, you won't be buying a new bike.

I think there are several factors where Armstrong has impacted the technical side of cycling. He is a rider who started on titanium and steel bikes, and moved over to carbon, so that is significant, as he won the biggest races on each.

I also think he can be credited (good or bad) for narrowing focus on the Tour. Riders have done that in the past but not to the same level. When there was a World Cup, there was a better emphasis on an annual series, whereas with the Pro Tour, GT's are part of the points, so it places greater emphasis on winning a GT. The classics are still that, classic, but have less emphasis to the casual fan, though avid fans will still follow the whole season.

I think the greatest impact Lance will have is coming: his undoing.

It will be a true cautionary tale: Winning at all costs, costs all.

The investigation into whether doping was in employ during his Tour wins, subsequent fraud on the US Fed Govt, and his role as key architect of the scheme with his minions, will lead to a very ugly ending.

The bottom line, in cycling and all sports, will be that cheaters may win in the short term but do not ultimately win.

You mean Greg....Lemond. He rode carbon while on Team Z and before. I rode titanium in a race against Lance when he was a first year senior. He was on a steel bike.
Greg's focus was the Tour, which others have criticized. His winning of the World's and suffering in Paris Roubaix apparently goes unacknowledged today but he did the Coors Classic (brought Hinault and entire LaVie Clare team with him)which had TV coverage. He made the template LA followed. That is not to say that LA's added media exposure didn't add juice to the trend that had already been started.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Nick C. said:
instead of havign the local comedians yelling "***" you get "go Lance"

Actually, it's going the other way. Someone yelled: "Lance is going to jail, ******" or something like that. Screaming hillbillies can be hard to understand, missin' teeth 'nall.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Oldman said:
You mean Greg....Lemond. He rode carbon while on Team Z and before. I rode titanium in a race against Lance when he was a first year senior. He was on a steel bike.
Greg's focus was the Tour, which others have criticized. His winning of the World's and suffering in Paris Roubaix apparently goes unacknowledged today but he did the Coors Classic (brought Hinault and entire LaVie Clare team with him)which had TV coverage. He made the template LA followed. That is not to say that LA's added media exposure didn't add juice to the trend that had already been started.

I think you proved my point. I did not mean to imply that Lance was the "only" rider to have done this but more that it is a cyclical thing.

With Greg, there was a moderate spike in interest in road cycling (being on the cover of USA's Sports Illustrated helps), which got enveloped by the MTB fad.

Greg rode far more races, in addition to focusing on the Tour.

I agree that Greg was the template, and as a pioneer of many things in professional racing, his impact is undebatable (at least, you won't find one with me).

If Lance did anything, it was to forgo much of the euro-centric, cycle racing culture traditions by totally focusing on the Tour and maximizing his own branding in a far more efficient manner. Adding the cancer story, comeback, and winning the Tour, also part of the template, outshined Greg's similar experience.

By becoming a slave to his own plan, it became implicit that Lance use whatever means necessary to keep his branding and "Q" rating on a sharp incline. If one wants to believe he doped to win, or because he won and then must dope, Lance could not afford to race other races, or take any action that could jeopardize the structure of his ongoing success. It is evident in his behavior that this was the case.

Let me end with this. In another thread there is a Lance/Floyd comparison, and my comment fits here as well as there.

Regarding Lance, do you think that as the adversity builds, as the investigation creeps up his back, and the pressure mounts, do you think he will keep his love for the bike, like Landis has?

Will Lance proclaim that all he wanted to do was race his bike?

I think if the question of "love for the bike" were posed to each, Greg, Lance and Floyd, the answer from Lance would be quite different.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Colm.Murphy said:
I think you proved my point. I did not mean to imply that Lance was the "only" rider to have done this but more that it is a cyclical thing.

With Greg, there was a moderate spike in interest in road cycling (being on the cover of USA's Sports Illustrated helps), which got enveloped by the MTB fad.

Greg rode far more races, in addition to focusing on the Tour.

I agree that Greg was the template, and as a pioneer of many things in professional racing, his impact is undebatable (at least, you won't find one with me).

If Lance did anything, it was to forgo much of the euro-centric, cycle racing culture traditions by totally focusing on the Tour and maximizing his own branding in a far more efficient manner. Adding the cancer story, comeback, and winning the Tour, also part of the template, outshined Greg's similar experience.
By becoming a slave to his own plan, it became implicit that Lance use whatever means necessary to keep his branding and "Q" rating on a sharp incline. If one wants to believe he doped to win, or because he won and then must dope, Lance could not afford to race other races, or take any action that could jeopardize the structure of his ongoing success. It is evident in his behavior that this was the case.

Let me end with this. In another thread there is a Lance/Floyd comparison, and my comment fits here as well as there.

Regarding Lance, do you think that as the adversity builds, as the investigation creeps up his back, and the pressure mounts, do you think he will keep his love for the bike, like Landis has?

Will Lance proclaim that all he wanted to do was race his bike?

I think if the question of "love for the bike" were posed to each, Greg, Lance and Floyd, the answer from Lance would be quite different.

Your take on the Eurocentrism is clear and the reason media also found him more accessable (sp?).
As for his love of cycling it is hard to separate his love of the limelight from the vehicle that got him there. I don't know that if he fell way down that he'd end up on some pseudo-celebrity "reality" show like Pros vs Joes, still riding his bike. Lance liked his image and attitude when he was a tri-athelete and a marathoner. Floyd was a kid with a bike that got led to a very lofty height and crashed and probably at no point could he say he had control over that career arc. Floyd loves it because all good things came from it. I think Lance prefers power and adulation; so the bike could go if something else came along.
 
i remember reading that in terms of name recognition (Q rating in commercial terms), had lemond won his fourth tour in 1991 he would have become a household name. he never built long enough on the miracle win of 1989.

as for aiming just at the tour, lemond really only looked like he did that in 1989 and 1990 because that was when he was in shape. in 1989 he rode a lot, just not that memorably because he was still recovering and gaining fitness from his time away. in 1990 he rode a lot again to lose the weight he gained due to all the solicitations during the winter and then becuase he needed to train like a madman after getting sick in the Spring. he did tour du pont (Trump?), tour of italy, tour of switzerland and then the tour to get into shape.

i think some riders' narrowed goals over the last two decades has to do more with clinic-related issues than anything else.
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
The bottom line, in cycling and all sports, will be that cheaters may win in the short term but do not ultimately win.

Not sure about that. The man has 7 yellow jerseys, which -- as Bjarne Riis will attest to -- they really don't come and take away from you. Also he has millions in the bank which will still be there even after say, a 6month stint in a minimum security facility.

They only thing he won't have when it's all done is his integrity....which it seems he never really valued much, anyways.

As for being transformational b/c he's less "Euro-centric", really?? In '99, he hand-picked arguably the most old-school pro-doping DS out there, a certain "Hog".

He also has been pretty "Euro" in his enforcement of the omerta. Seeing the yellow jersey chase down a no-name on the penultimate day of Tour win #7 is about as old-school Euro as you can get. The only thing more disgraceful is when the Italians stuck a frame pump in Davey Stoller's spokes.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Big Doopie said:
i think some riders' narrowed goals over the last two decades has to do more with clinic-related issues than anything else.

Through those years, there are plenty of folks who complete two GT's and race a host of Spring races.

Guys like Jalabert, Boogerd, Moreau, Verbrugge, Zulle, Bartoli, Bettini, etc.

Comments as to the cleanliness of the above are not necessary, the obvious needs to detail.

I think the doping makes it more possible to do a full season. The doping is also necessary to win a GT. I think it comes down to risk management. Too many exposures to tests, too many people shuttling blood and product around, too many people involved, etc.

That Lance was SO focused on the Tour also adds risk to the scenario. Shown this year how a bit of bad luck and distraction impairs a rider, it is amazing that Lance did get through his victories seemingly unscathed.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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NashbarShorts said:
Not sure about that. The man has 7 yellow jerseys, which -- as Bjarne Riis will attest to -- they really don't come and take away from you. Also he has millions in the bank which will still be there even after say, a 6month stint in a minimum security facility.

They only thing he won't have when it's all done is his integrity....which it seems he never really valued much, anyways.

As for being transformational b/c he's less "Euro-centric", really?? In '99, he hand-picked arguably the most old-school pro-doping DS out there, a certain "Hog".

He also has been pretty "Euro" in his enforcement of the omerta. Seeing the yellow jersey chase down a no-name on the penultimate day of Tour win #7 is about as old-school Euro as you can get. The only thing more disgraceful is when the Italians stuck a frame pump in Davey Stoller's spokes.

You think his millions will still be there? Ok.

I agree with the integrity comment, though I would debate the timing of its departure.

My comment as to euro-centricity is more along the lines of gracing the racing world with his presence in more races. He generally only attended races that he could either 1: win, or 2: use to build up for the Tour.

Omerta enforcement is an point I also agree with you on, and would add that the visibility with which it was done was boldly American in style. Omerta is traditionally best handled quietly, with the fewer overt actions and verbals the better.