With so little to talk about of real substance I find myself begrudgingly drawn into conversations about Lance Armstrong. I've been asked if I was doping by the cashier at the hardware store, I've had people ask for discounts on Lance emblazoned packages of honey stinger waffles and I have had to ignore countless facebook posts. At the risk of losing street cred I have a shameful confession: I got "into cycling" in 2008, I have no long storied history of mid nineties glory days. I never watched Lance "win" those seven tours, I never yelled "USA, USA" at the spandex wearing, doped-up supermen of the US Postal team, I don't have the history to feel lied about and slighted by. When it comes to Lance Armstrong's guilt, I simply don't care.
The main reason that Lance is a prick is that he didn't give a shit about curing cancer before he was affected by it, he even goes so far as to call it "...the best thing that ever happened to me," [directly from his fuckin' BIO ON HIS WEBSITE!!!]. Lancearmstrong.com doesn't seem to have been updated since October 17th when Lance stepped down from his ivory tower at livestrong and decided to let cancer win. Cancer didn't hurt Lance, cancer MADE Lance.
This is how I imagine the realization of cancer came to Lance.
Lance: I'm so perfect, I'm definitely pulling off this hair style, nothing will ever go wrong for me. Someday I'll marry a famous rock star.
Doctor: Lance, I'm afraid you have cancer
Doctor: It appears to be in your testicles. Luckily you're rich so you can afford the very best experimental treatments.
Lance: I totally care so much about cancer now, I think I will start "the Lance Armstrong Foundation" for the entire cancer community, not just some self-important douche on a bike.
Doctor: I have even worse news Lance, the rock star you get married to is Sheryl Crow.
American TV is stupid, except Stephen Colbert (that dude is HILARIOUS!)
What really needs to happen for the (united states) cycling world to have closure is not a 3 hour interview wherein Lance admits guilt; what we need, is more bike racing on regular TV. I am tired of paying extra to get obscure cable channels that only play race highlights if hockey isn't on. I'm tired of watching grainy internet streaming video that always seems to buffer when there is an attack in the alps. I'm tired of pro cycling being treated like soccer.The best way for Americans to get over a fallen hero is to get a new hero, the best way to find a new hero is to never leave the couch and just watch TV.
Here are a few recommendations for replacement heroes
1. Fabian Cancellara
Multiple stage winner who has embarrassed many a strong man on the cobbles. Fabian is morbidly obese by pro cycling standards which might make him more palatable to the American public. Fabian is sexy and has swagger for days, is that a cashmere scarf at a press conference? Fuck yeah it is!
That scarf is covering up all the hickies your mom just gave him
Winner of the 2012 Giro. Ryder joined team Discovery Channel the same year Lance left. Shortly before leaving the team, Lance allegedly lost a dick measuring contest to Hesjedal and was forced to kiss George Hincapie on the mouth. Less handsome than Fabian and unquestionably Canadian, Ryder may not be the perfect Lance substitute, but at least he speaks north American so he's close.
Ryder shown here with two stuffed wolves he may have killed barehanded
"Mark Cavendish is the best bike rider in the world" [source: M. Cavendish]. With 36 Stage wins under is belt Mark has enough victories under his belt to be a conceited ass, a personality trait most closely resembling Armstrong. In 2011 Mark was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and has been attacking other sprinters with broadswords ever since, which is pretty cool.
Full penetration or Fizik Saddle? Same face either way.