Lance Armstrong says he’s at peace after controversy

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

ASPEN, Colo. — Lance Armstrong was feeling just fine even after being beaten by a lanky teenager in a grueling 36-mile mountain bike race.

Better than fine, even. He’s more at ease now than he has been in a decade.

In his first interview since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency disciplined Armstrong with a lifetime ban from professional cycling and vacated his seven Tour de France titles, he said, “Nobody needs to cry for me. I’m going to be great.”

Armstrong couldn’t catch Keegan Swirbul at the Power of Four bike race Saturday, finishing nearly five minutes behind the hard-charging kid.

“It’s cool to get your butt kicked by a 16-year-old when you know he has a bright future,” Armstrong said, smiling.

For a few hours, Armstrong was back in his element — on a bike and in a race.

No controversies weighing him down, either.

The escape into the mountains around Aspen was almost refreshing. He took the time to enjoy a bright, blue day and soak in the scenery.

As for what lies ahead, Armstrong wasn’t thinking that far — only toward lunch. Armstrong chatted for a few minutes before saying, “OK, I’m going to go eat a cheeseburger.”

Before leaving, though, he posed for pictures with the throng of fans that gathered at the base of a ski lift to watch the racers finish.

Asked if there was anything he would to say to his fans, the ones who’ve supported him through the controversy, he said: “I think people understand that we’ve got a lot of stuff to do going forward. That’s what I’m focused on and I think people are supportive of that. It’s great to be out here.”

Decked out in black and gold and sporting a Livestrong emblem on his jersey, Armstrong tinkered with his bike and gave a kiss to girlfriend Anna Hansen before pedaling off. Hansen was waiting at the finish, too.

So were plenty of other members of the Armstrong entourage.

His busy weekend was supposed to include a trail marathon Sunday. But he told The Associated Press two hours later he was going to skip the race.

This competition simply took that much out of him. With good reason, given all the climbing the cyclists had to do.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus