Lance Armstrong opens up



Here is part I of our three-part interview with Lance Armstrong. The former Tour de France champion discusses the state of his current life and looks back at the decisions he made in the past in this candid discussion. Here is some of what Lance shared with us:

— Dan asked if he watched the Tour de France this year. “Some days. I follow it enough to know which days I think will be interesting. I turn it on and watch while I’m having breakfast. A lot of times I couldn’t watch the finish because I was going to go out on my own ride or exercise.”

— Armstrong talked about he drove hard at everything, on and off the bike: “I do think that the whole process of surviving the disease and being so motivated to ultimately win that battle. I took it back into the sport, which I didn’t’ have before. I viewed winning and losing as life or death. I was going to do whatever it took to win. Sometimes I crossed the line. I didn’t have that switch to turn it off. It’s one thing to kick ass in a race. You’re sitting in a press conference you don’t need to kick ass. You just need to sit there and be humble and honest and direct and move on.

— Dan asked if you could win during his era without doping: “Not in that era. Most people recognize … especially people on those battlefields, it was an arms race at the time. There were no tests. You couldn’t detect certain things that you can now. I don’t know about today. I suspect you could today. Not from the late 1980s to the 2000s?”

— On the impact of doping on a bike rider’s body:

“We’re not talking about Breaking Bad here. It’s not like meth. … Things like EPO, which was the predominant drug of choice for most of us. It’s a significant improvement. You’re talking about 10 percent. You notice that with your times and in the races.

“You would suffer less. But you’re still going to suffer. It’s not like this era made us robotic. The sport was still damn hard. There’s this perception that it was rigged. That’s just bullshit. It was unfortunate … but the boys still had to do the work. Something as simple as staying on the bike … you had to avoid all of that bad luck. It was a component to the sport at the time, but that doesn’t mean all the components were rigged.”