An intimate but explosive portrait of the man behind the greatest fraud in sporting history. Lance Armstrong enriched himself by cheating his fans, his sport, and the truth. But the former ...
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An intimate but explosive portrait of the man behind the greatest fraud in sporting history. Lance Armstrong enriched himself by cheating his fans, his sport, and the truth. But the former friends whose lives and careers he destroyed would prove to be his nemesis.Written by
Drugs and cycling go to together like a horse and carriage, or is that love and marriage? No matter, as a sport cycling has been traditionally riddled with drug cheats so when any past racers turn up in this documentary finger wagging you think to yourself as if your era was any cleaner!
Any serious racer, commentator, journalist with knowledge of how gruelling road cycling is would or should had realised that some competitors are drug assisted simply because of the energy that they still have after hours of cycling on the edge of endurance. As Greg Lemond recounts after seeing Lance Armstrong race on Le Tour and someone turned round and remarked to him, 'he is on the juice.'
Of course accusations are one thing, proving it is another. While commentators on television threw platitudes at Armstrong the super athlete, some racers and journalists did have suspicions. However Armstrong, his cycling team, his team of lawyers would ruthlessly bring down any dissenting voices, even friends.
This documentary strips Armstrong of any last vestiges of dignity. Even his early victories are reduced to results of deal makings rather than racing. Armstrong realised early in his career that in a sport where drug taking is rife that the only way to win was to take drugs and call it hard work and training.
Of course if Armstrong remained retired after his string of Le Tour victories this documentary would not had been made, however his comeback meant as one writer said, 'the cancer had returned.' It was the blood samples taken during his comeback that led to the US doping agency to accuse him of cheating backed up with witness testimonies.
The documentary highlights the rise and fall of this superstar in cycling. Armstrong comes across as tough, determined, ruthless, two faced, hypocritical. Although he saw off all previous attempts to bring him down eventually he was demolished and confessed in 2013 in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and headed for financial and professional ruin.
A cautionary tale, maybe overlong but also enthralling. I never liked Armstrong so I do not feel sorry for him and this documentary does not try to elicit any sympathy for him.
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