Nobody Needs to Find Armstrong a Cool Pear


While watching the two-part documentary Lance, the question constantly arises: what did Lance Armstrong actually want to achieve by opening the door to the makers over months? Was he hoping for some understanding of the mechanism that had rudely made him a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, the victories took for doping? Did he want to show how he is doing now, with his girlfriend and two children? Or suffice it: look, this is who I am?

After three hours and twenty minutes – the first part was seen on Saturday at Fox Sports, next week, on June 13, at 9 p.m., the remaining more than an hour and a half follows – you lean towards the last. Armstrong never wanted to be found a cool pear and even now he is not angling for a high ranking in the popularity poll. Even without real revelations, Lance is a magnetizing ESPN production.

Documentary maker Marina Zenovich tries patiently to gain insight into the character of her subject. She meets former teammates, managers, friends, his son, his mother, his ex and comes across a difficult to understand personality. Who he is He has so many faces.

He is blunt when he reports that Floyd Landis, the rider who released US Postal doping stories in 2010, wakes up every morning as ‘a piece of shit.’ “I don’t think so, I know.” Arrogant too. “I know it will sound terrible, but I’m relevant.” Polished. When Zenovich inquires about his relationship with the now-deceased chairman of UCI cycling federation, Hein Verbruggen, he responds: ‘If the question is whether I had Hein Verbruggen in my pocket, many answers are possible.

Financial? Zero. Do I believe that Hein wanted to protect the sport? Yes. Protect me? Yes. Because it protected the sport. ” Disgusted. He is persona non grata, destroyed just like Marco Pantani. “And he’s dead. Fucking dead! ‘. Other well-known packers are just welcome in the cycling world. “Fucking bullshit!”

The course of life is still the largest part of the first part of Lance. His mother is 17 when she gives birth to him. His biological father quickly disappears from view. His stepfather raises him with a hard hand. He already hits it with a board when little Lance leaves a drawer open. Terry Armstrong admits that love fell short. “I hunted him up like an animal.”

At the triathlon, 15-year-old Lance wins from refined pros. Then he already plays with the truth: he cheated with his age to be able to participate. When he first reports in the American cycling selection, he immediately drives the great talent, Bobby Julich, into destruction. He is 21 when he first uses doping. A year later, he becomes a world champion in Oslo. The following season, Jan and everyone drives past him. A miracle cure is circulating in the peloton: EPO. He yields. Italian physician Michele Ferrari handed it over. “It was rocket fuel.”

The sporting career ends when testicular cancer is diagnosed. He heals after brain surgery and chemotherapy. It was a competition, he says. “With cancer as the enemy against me, the good guy.” Later, he successfully founded Livestrong, an organization that collects money for cancer patients. The logo is the yellow wristband. Eighty million have been deposited.

In the second part of the documentary, the dismantling of his empire dominates and the resentful and complacent Armstrong really becomes visible. From his comeback in 1998, it immediately went back to a crescendo, with those uninterrupted Tour victories from 1999 to 2005. Gradually, the suspicion about his achievements grew and he resorted to lies, threats, and intimidation.

His statement: “No one who uses doping is honest. You are lying. In my case maybe 10,000 times. Then you think, “fuck you, don’t ask me about it anymore.” Betsy Andreu, the wife of teammate Frankie Andreu, who both testified that Armstrong admitted doping as early as 1996, puts it like this: “It was all about protecting a brand: Lance Inc., a cancer survivor.”

Zenovich asks what he regrets most. An all-embracing excuse remains, which in his view is already quite a few. Calling his caregiver Emma O’Reilly a “whore” was “totally unacceptable.” She had to throw away his syringes and apply makeup to his arms to cover up injection sites.

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