Lance Armstrong - Wikipedia
Lance Armstrong will be joining the Colorado Classic bike race next week.
But the controversial cycling legend will be manning a mic, not a bike, traveling with the four-stage race to Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver peddling his new daily “Stages” podcast from a studio-outfitted Airstream trailer Aug. 9-13.
Armstrong and Austin, Texas, radio host JB Hager debuted “Stages” for last month’s Tour de France from studios in Austin and Aspen. The podcast was downloaded more than 5 million times during the month-long race, ranking it in the top 10 on iTunes in July.
“I really didn’t know what to expect and there was really no pressure for it to be well received,” Armstrong said from his home in Aspen earlier this week, shortly after his daily ride. “The end result pretty much blew me away.”
It’s been five years since Armstrong’s fall from grace, a spectacular plummet from cancer-beating cycling superstar to doping pariah. The seven Tour de France titles have evaporated. He’s banned for life from sanctioned cycling and other Olympic sports. His sponsors are long gone. So is his role in Livestrong, the yellow-braceleted movement he founded to support cancer-fighting warriors.
Later this year he will go to court in a fight that will define his future as his former teammate turned federal whistleblower Floyd Landis and the U.S. government seek $100 million in civil fraud damages for what the U.S. Anti Doping Agency called his orchestration of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen” while he raced for the U.S. Postal Service.
What Armstrong does have is his podcasting. His year-old “Forward” podcast, which veers from musicians to authors to NFL players to really anyone who interests Armstrong, has been successful and the new “Stages” has bolstered downloads of the weekly “Forward” podcast, he said.
“I think having a raw, totally transparent view of the race as opposed to what’s out there that’s pretty traditional and corporate and filtered … I think people really liked the rawness of it,” Armstrong said of “Stages,” which offered plenty of blustery f-bombs spicing his characteristically acute take on cycling dynamics. “I’m not beholden to anybody. There’s not a sponsor. I get to say whatever I want to say. It’s not that I don’t care, but I’m not anybody’s lapdog.”
He’s grown pretty inured to his critics, who are loud and abundant after he spent years remorselessly attacking people — teammates and reporters mostly — who, it turned out, were dead-on when they outed him as a cheating doper.
“I know that people’s emotions and feelings and reactions are all over the place. I understand it and I get it and I can’t fight that. It is what it is. The name of the podcast is ‘Forward’ for a reason,” he said. “I’m moving forward with my life and with the work I’m doing.”
Organizers behind the Colorado Classic said there was one predominant factor that eclipsed Armstrong’s potentially polarizing presence at the inaugural race.
“Five million downloads. We were blown away by that. He, without a doubt, has the biggest audience in cycling,” said Ken Gart, the Colorado bike champion who corralled investors to revive professional cycling in Colorado after the death of the Pro Challenge, one of several pro cycling events buried in the American graveyard.
Remember, it was Armstrong who joined former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter in 2010 in announcing the USA Pro Challenge, which spent five years fanning the flames of pro cycling energy that harkened back to the long dormant Red Zinger Bicycle Classic and the Coors Classic.
“I think he has an emotional attachment to racing in Colorado,” Gart said. “If we were launching his new strategy, that would be one thing. But with 5 million downloads, this will help us connect with that serious cycling audience.”
Armstrong says he’s “curious and hopeful” about the new Colorado Classic model for pro cycling, which marries music in a ticketed downtown food-and-drink festival with professional racing. It’s a new twist that investors hope can sustain racing that has traditionally floundered in the U.S.
Armstrong, a longtime music fan, said he’s just as excited to see the Jayhawks and Wilco as he is to watch the circuit racing through Denver’s River North hood. Maybe the music can help woo sponsors who can support the race, but the brightest lights need to shine on the athletes, he said.
“All these things revolve around the most important part and that is the player,” he said. “Golf needed Tiger. Swimming needed Phelps. It would really help our sport domestically if we had an American who was contending for the tour. Which we don’t have. But that can happen in the next 3 to 5 years, if things go right.”
Armstrong’s not ready to predict a winner at the Colorado Classic. He’s not even sure about who could contend. The racers who rode hard in the 21-stage Tour de France in July, like Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran and Boulder’s Taylor Phinney, might not have the energy to compete at altitude a mere two-and-a-half weeks later, he said.
“It’s hard to hold that conditioning for long. With Breckenridge all above 10,000 feet … I’m not sure who to watch … it might be somebody no one is thinking of right now,” said Armstrong, noting that the title contenders will be evident early in the first stage of the four-stage race. “I think halfway through the first stage, you won’t know who is going to win, but you will definitely know who is not going to win.”
Stages by Forward Podcast: Ironman Kona Preview
Опубликовано: 13.02.2018 | Автор: Валентин
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Lance Armstrong - 'STAGES' British iTunes Chart Performance. Subscribe to "STAGES" via the iTunes Application. buy from iTunes Get.
Lance Armstrong will be joining the Colorado Classic bike race next week. Armstrong and Austin, Texas, radio host JB Hager debuted “Stages” for last month’s Tour de France.
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Lance Edward Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson on September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist.
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