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Armstrong a homophobe?(14 posts)
|Armstrong a homophobe?||DougSloan|
Oct 27, 2003 7:27 AM
AP Interview: Armstrong vows not to repeat the same mistakes
By JEROME PUGMIRE, Associated Press Writer
October 23, 2003
PARIS (AP) -- Lance Armstrong admits he's made one huge mistake in his illustrious career -- taking this year's Tour de France for granted.
Although he won the 2003 Tour, the Texan was pushed to near breaking point. As he prepares for his bid to win a record six Tours, he says he'll never underestimate the punishing 100-year-old race again.
``I was angry with my performance,'' Armstrong told The Associated Press on Thursday. ``I had never been on the limit like that and quite frankly it was an experience I would not like to repeat. I took the race for granted.''
Armstrong's problems started before the Tour, with stomach flu that nearly stopped him from making the flight to France.
He crashed twice in the race, struggled in the Alps, lost 11 pounds through dehydration, swerved across a bumpy field to avoid a fallen rider, suffered foot cramps, technical difficulties and moments of self-doubt.
But he hung on, recovering to withstand and beat German Jan Ullrich by just 61 seconds -- by far the shortest margin of Armstrong's five wins.
``It was too close, too difficult, too stressful, too emotional,'' Armstrong recalled Thursday, after attending the presentation Thursday of the 2004 Tour route. ``We were all worried every night that the Tour would be lost.''
Tour Director Jean-Marie Leblanc said the 2,101-mile counterclockwise trek around France July 3-25 would feature the first ever time trial on the notorious L'Alpe d'Huez mountain -- a climb Armstrong won in 2001.
As is typical of Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win his first Tour in 1999, he can find a positive side of this year's brush with defeat.
``I dodged a bullet and still won,'' he said. ``But I gained the perspective that it can all be gone in an instant. I'm cautiously confident now.''
Armstrong's strength is as much cerebral as physical. He admits his 32-year-old body is not as resistant as it was -- or as strong as 29-year-old Ullrich's.
``I have to face the realization that I'm not the same rider I was three years ago. I know that after the close call I have to be prepared to lose,'' he said. ``But at the same time I'm more motivated than I've ever been.''
He needs to be.
Besides Ullrich, Kazhakstan's Alexander Vinokourov -- third this year -- Italy's Ivan Basso and Spain's Joseba Beloki could all pose threats.
Ullrich came into the 2003 Tour after two knee operations, a ban for using recreational drugs, and the collapse of his Team Coast -- and still pushed Armstrong all the way.
Ullrich, who recently switched from Team Bianchi to the T-Mobile team (formerly Team Telekom), told French sports daily L'Equipe that he is ``fearless'' going into 2004.
``Jan will be super strong next year,'' Armstrong said. ``He is going into his prime whereas I'm probably at half my prime.''
But his love of cycling burns bright.
``I'm still the kid on the bike,'' he said. ``I'm still passionate about the training and the races. All that kind of stuff makes me excited and happy.''
Only this year did French fans truly start warming to Armstrong. Victory in 2004 will set him apart from Spain's Miguel Indurain, who won five straight Tours between 1991-1995. But will Armstrong retire if he wins six?
``That's my secret. I'm not telling,'' he said with a mischievous laugh. ``We'll see in Paris what happens. But I have a hard time imagining I'll be a retired athlete in just a few months.''
Armstrong's contract with his U.S. Postal Service team expires next year. Would he race for another team?
``I hope not, but you can never say never,'' he said.
Postal welcomed Armstrong after his recovery from cancer. Other teams backed away. His allegiance to Postal manager Johan Bruyneel is ``100 percent,'' he said. ``Quite frankly, he's the best, smartest, the most organized and the straightest.''
Armstrong said he will start ``training for real'' in December, in Austin, Texas, then rejoin his Postal colleagues at team camp in January. He may skip the Dauphine Libere race next June, a Tour warm-up he won this year.
``I'm a little superstitious about the Dauphine,'' he said. ``Indurain rode a fantastic Dauphine race there in 1996 and then lost the Tour to Bjarne Riis.''
Ok, people, before you get too riled up, I posted this as a joke. ;-)
|Are you trying to tell us something, Doug? (nm)||53T|
Oct 27, 2003 10:04 AM
|yes, that the statement struck funny (nm)||DougSloan|
Oct 27, 2003 10:08 AM
|only if you think of "straight" as the opposite of "gay" . . .||ms|
Oct 27, 2003 12:47 PM
|It makes perfect sense if you think of "straight" as the opposite of "crooked." (NOTE THIS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBIC COMMENT ON MY PART.) Given the various shenanigans that have occurred in cycling and may still be happening (e.g., Astroloa's initial comments after the World Championship), Armstrong's comment may be more of a comment on the ethics of other teams and their managers than a comment on their sexual preferences.|
|I always thought Saiz was a little light in the loafers. (nm)||53T|
Oct 27, 2003 1:03 PM
|maybe not a failed attempt at humor . . .||ms|
Oct 27, 2003 1:13 PM
|But, the comment also may have been worthy of a discussion on the general board on people in cycling who are not "straight."
Things like race and sexual preference sometimes appear to be the "thrid rail" of discussion -- if you hit it you can be killed. Thus, I usually am not as brave as some people on the non-cycling discussions board are when it comes to these subjects. But, I couldn't resist responding to your post. I don't care if someone is straight or not so long as he or she is not crooked.
|How about bent? LOL!! Man I crack me up sometimes :O) nm||Live Steam|
Oct 27, 2003 1:26 PM
|Yes, methinks it was a JOKE||jtolleson|
Oct 27, 2003 3:02 PM
|Doug's post made perfectly clear he was making a JOKE via wordplay on Lance's odd use of "straight." Apparently, this was lost on you.|
|Yes, methinks it was a JOKE||ms|
Oct 28, 2003 7:05 AM
|I agree with you on the joke part -- it was not lost on me. I was trying to have fun, too -- that's the part that may not have been apparent. I guess that there is no need to worry that I'll give up my day job to become a comedian.
However, there also was a non-joke part of my comment. I do not think that Lance's use of "straight" was odd but a comment on others in pro cycling.
|of course, frequently humor is in the eye of the beholder||DougSloan|
Oct 28, 2003 7:25 AM
|About 8 years ago, before getting married, I dated a woman in Kansas City who was much more, let's say, "enlightened" than I ever will be. She was about 5 years older than I was, and pretty much a 60's hippy type. She was pretty cool. Whenever she was driving, and I would give her directions, she would reprimand me every time I said "straight." She would say, "that's 'forward,' never 'straight'." To her, "straight" had a very negative meaning, implying one must adhere to all rules, including the one on topic here, and she definitely did not do that. After that, the term never meant the same to me.
|I had a friend that said the same thing, except he ...||Live Steam|
Oct 28, 2003 7:55 AM
|meant "stoned" not "straight" :O)
Hey we must be leading parallel lives. I dated one of those too, except she was 10 years older than me. I was 28 at the time. She was definitely free-spirited. From Alabama. A real southern bell. Sharp as a tack. She was the only female executive in a rather large Japanese corp. They really like blondes :O) (no offense intended to Japanese or blondes :O) We almost made it to Japan together, but her boss quit and she had to handle all of his responsibilities here in the states until they found a successor. They would have promoted her, but a woman, Japanese or westerner, never held that high of a position in the company and they weren't going to start then. Too bad. She deserved it.
Ah, those were the good ol' days. No responsibilities. Only fun :O)
|yes, it had that meaning, too||DougSloan|
Oct 28, 2003 8:02 AM
|Mine was from Houston, and her "daddy" (that's what they say) was about the biggest redneck I'd ever personally met, including my relatives and their neighbors in rural Tennesee. She fell very far from the tree.
|of course, frequently humor is in the eye of the beholder||snapdragen|
Oct 29, 2003 8:18 PM
|My best friend was an all-out flaming gay man. When we'd drive somewhere and I said "go straight" he'd reply "not in a million years honey!"