“When That’s Up You’re F**king Done”: Lance Armstrong Once Revealed Why Cycling Tour Couldn’t Be Compared to FIFA World Cup and Super Bowl

Published 11/27/2022, 4:45 PM EST
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 21: Cyclist Lance Armstrong addresses participants at The LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride at the Palmer Events Center on October 21, 2012 in Austin, Texas. More than 4,000 cyclists participated in the charity ride supporting cancer survivors. Armstrong has recently been accused of leading “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” according to USADA officials. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong was one of the most competitive road racing cyclists ever. From swimming to triathlons to cycling, the former professional cyclist has sound knowledge about a career in sports. Besides, his analytical eye adds perspective to pressing issues in the field of cycling. In a 2013 interview, he made a convincing argument about why cycling races can not be compared with sporting events such as the Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup.

Renowned for his specificity and clarity in making a point, Armstrong pointed out the sad reality of riders and drawbacks in the business model in comparison with conglomerate-like sports, football, and tennis.

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Lance Armstrong blamed the business model

It is undeniable that Tour de France is not as big as FIFA or the Super Bowl. According to Armstrong, the biggest difference is “the players’ union, an athletes’ union.” He pointed out in a 2013 interview, “We have no voice, no unity.” However, he clarified, “There are guys all over the place.”

Adding more detail to his point, he said that the major league sports and their owners weren’t letting it happen. “We have been living in the Wild West,” he added. Speaking about the riders, he said that they didn’t have any rights. “ASO continues to make millions, the teams don’t own anything.”

In his words, if there’s anything the riders own, “…is its current contract, and when that’s up you’re f***ing done.” They might have a couple of buses and a truck. “There’s no equity and value,” he said. And described it as a “f***ed up business model.”

Armstrong opened up on his involvement in doping the same year

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The champion cyclist began his sporting career at a young age. Armstrong was a swimmer until he came across triathlons. He was ranked first in the 1987-88 triathlon and won several championships thereafter. Armstrong began professional cycling in 1993. While he was raging in his sporting career, he got diagnosed with cancer.

PAU, FRANCE – JULY 20: American Lance Armstrong with team RadioShack rides in a breakaway during stage 16 of the Tour de France on July 20, 2010 in Pau, France. Armstrong started the ride between Bagneres-de-Luchon and Pau in 31st place. French rider Pierrick Fedrigo won the stage while Alberto Contador retained the yellow jersey. The iconic bicycle race will include a total of 20 stages and will cover 3,642km before concluding in Paris on July 25. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Post-recovery, he came back to win seven consecutive titles from 1999 to 2005. His win in 1999 was questioned by doping allegations. However, he denied them for several years. In 2012, investigations conducted by USADA proved his involvement in doping, which stripped him of all the titles he had won. The following year, he publicly admitted the same. And that put a lifetime ban on him from all sports following the Anti-Doping Code.

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Watch this story: How did an early Uber investment save Lance Armstrong and his family from financial crisis

Do you agree with Lance’s words about the riders not having enough unity among themselves? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Ramya Bachu

396 articles

Ramya Bachu is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. Ramya has a Master’s degree in Psychology. She strongly believes in the power of discipline, consistency, and willingness to learn to achieve greater heights.

Edited By: Abhishek Kumar

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