Greg takes down Lance again.
Three time Tour de France champion Greg Lemond was in Australian for the Tour Down Under. He took time out to throw Lance Armstrong under the bus again.
Andy Hood of Velonews got him talking about the evil Lance and not surprisingly Lemond thinks the Texan’s lifetime ban is merited, “If there’s anyone who deserves a ban, it’s this guy,” said Lemond.
In response to Lemond’s comments, Armstrong wrote via text message “Greg was an idol of mine growing up, as I have stated many times before. Somewhere along the way we got sideways — I think it was about 15 years ago. I haven’t spoken to him since then. I’m sure my results on the road and actions off the road were troublesome to him along the way, and for that I am sorry. But honestly, at this point, isn’t it better that we all move forward and stop the rhetoric, in order to build a better future for cycling? I’m in. Anyone else?”
It’s the “moving on” part that is of most interest to Twisted Spoke because it illustrates once again Armstrong’s character flaw: he still thinks he’s in charge of his own redemption. It’s the ego of a man who still can’t believe he isn’t the one writing his story anymore.
The Boss defiantly told USADA’s Travis Tygart in a Denver airport hotel room that he, not Tygart was in charge of his redemption. That proved pretty wrong and Tygart has been smacking him upside the head ever since. That hasn’t changed Lance’s attitude however and that was on display again with Lemond — can’t we all move forward from the past?
Here’s what Armstrong is missing: the guilty party isn’t in charge of redemption or the timetable for said forgiveness. That’s up to everybody but Armstrong — fans, critics, cancer patients, everyone in the United States and around the world. Deep down, Lance knows that — he’s a very sharp guy — but he can’t help himself when Lemond gets in his face again.
Armstrong’s rebuttal was classic Lance: putting a critic on the defensive and acting like he himself is focused on the larger, more meaningful goal — a better future for cycling. What he’s saying is that Lemond is bitter and unable to let go of the past while Lance himself is all positivity and light, out to save cycling.
But as Lemond says, Lance “took a good 10 years out of my life.” Lemond doesn’t get that time back and now Armstrong is feeling the same pain. A lifetime ban — he doesn’t get that time to compete. He can’t organize a pick-up basketball game in his own driveway without USADA hammering him and sending his friends home. That’s out of his control and this is a man who insists on being captain.
The lifetime ban is his punishment but what hurts him worse is the lack of control. The trolls have taken over his story and ghost writer Sally Jenkins is long gone.
Armstrong is making some genuine efforts to put his life back together and no doubt there will come a time, sooner rather than later, when most is forgiven and forgotten. But he himself won’t be deciding the date or the time.