Whether or not Lance Armstrong’s weekend race was part of a scheme to play down the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) vacation of his seven Tour de France titles, it showed one thing – the cyclist has was more refreshed and relaxed as thee finished the 36-mile mountain bike race in a laid-back fashion. Lance Armstrong lost the first spot to a teenager and still had no qualms with it.
"It's cool to get your butt kicked by a 16-year-old when you know he has a bright future," stated a cheery Lance Armstrong.
The scenic ride around Aspen on a bright sunny day played a soothing number on Lance Armstrong’s mind following doping allegations and a lifetime ban from professional cycling by the USADA. After a while of conversation, the first thing that popped up in Lance Armstrong’s mind was the notoriously unhealthy fast food.
“OK, I'm going to go eat a cheeseburger,” said Lance Armstrong.
And I say if that isn’t bliss what else is?
Lance Armstrong was scheduled for a trail marathon Sunday, but skipped on it just two hour after the race, declaring that the uphill ride had left him exhausted for the next event.
Still, after last year’s retirement from the professional circle cannot serve as an excuse to holdback Lance Armstrong’s passion for the sport, and finding a different angle to its pleasures.
“For me, it's more about staying fit and coming out here and enjoying one of the most beautiful parts of the world, on a beautiful day, on a very hard course,” said Lance Armstrong after the race. “Some may say you're a little sick to spend your free time doing stuff like this. (But) I had a good time."
16-year-old Keegan Swirlbul finished five minutes ahead of Lance Armstrong at the Power of Four bike race, and was beaming with pride at beating despite beating his idol.
"I'm so psyched right now," said Keegan Swirbul. "I wanted to win this race so bad."
"To beat the 7-time Tour champ," reasoned a relatively pleased Keegan Swirbul.
Lance Armstrong too vouched that the emerging talent held a successful career in his future.
While the USADA’s penalty is still sparking controversies within the media, Lance Armstrong, who chose not to challenge USADA’s decision or request for an arbitrator over the matter on Thursday, stated though fans supported him, “"Nobody needs to cry for me. I'm going to be great."
Donations at Lance Armstrong’s charity Livestrong, which raises cancer awareness and promotes research, went up by 25 times on Thursday.
The cyclist, who is just one month shy of 41 revealed that he is focusing on his “five great kids,” girlfriend and Livestrong “foundation” which has been “unaffected” by the USADA scandal.
"The people like the people who are standing around here or on the course, they voiced their opinion in the last 48 hours,” said Lance Armstrong, “and (they) are going to support us…I think people understand that we've got a lot of stuff to do going forward.”
A hoard of loyal fans stood at the base of the ski lift to have their picture taken with Lance Armstrong and he merrily obliged to their request.
As to what remains in store for the sport, Lance Armstrong was optimistic saying indicating that “"There are a lot of good young guys” who will take this cycling forward.
“Cycling is going to be fine,” added Lance Armstrong.