Photo: AP Images
Six years removed from his last Tour de France win, and two years since he came back from his first retirement, 39-year-old Lance Armstrong said he will retire from cycling, for good.Armstrong told the AP that he will miss competing, but not the intense training and preparation he undergoes to compete.
“I can’t say I have any regrets. It’s been an excellent ride. I really thought I was going to win another tour,” Armstrong said about his comeback attempt in 2009, four years after his first retirement. “Then I lined up like everybody else and wound up third.
“I have no regrets about last year, either,” he added, despite finishing 23rd. “The crashes, the problems with the bike – those were things that were beyond my control.”
Nonetheless, his performance was impressive in the last two Tours considering his age. And his unprecedented run of seven consecutive Tour have long cemented his status among the sport’s greatest…
…unless, of course, the doping allegations that have followed him for the last five years, prove true.
We think the case against him is shaky, and even if true, it’s worth remembering just how drug-infested of a sport cycling was during Lance’s domination. But his legacy – especially among casual American fans – will be forever tarnished unless he’s absolutely cleared of any affiliation with performance enhancing drugs.
Because even the retirement stories, which typically remember an athlete’s best achievements, can’t celebrate Armstrong’s achievements without conditional clauses that cite the doping allegations.
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