Alex Massie

The Further Adventures of Lance Armstrong

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When he finally gets off his bike (again), does Armstrong see a future in politics? Looks like it. Interviewed by the Daily Beast he puts it like this:

If you feel like you can do the job better than people who are doing it now, and you can really make a difference, then that’s a real calling to serve, and I think you have to do that. I felt a strong desire to come back and race right now because I felt we had a place and I could have a real impact and that’s why I’m doing it. I don’t think you want to enter political life unless you really think you can really have an impact. Don’t do it for a bet, or a dare or for your ego. Or for any other competitive desire you have. Do it because you can get in there and change people’s lives. That’s why you do it. So, there will come a time, or not, that I say to myself, “You know what, I can help affect change.” And if that day comes, then absolutely.

Here's a rather miserable confession: one of my fears for 2009 is that Armstrong's return to the peloton will be successful. Doubtless that makes me a heel. Sure, one admires his fund-raising for cancer research, but I'm less impressed than some by Armstrong the cyclist. As I've written before, the great failure in his career was to never even attempt the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double.

Guess what? This year he's riding the Giro! Yikes! If he wins, I'm going to have to reconsider and, most probably recant, some of my Armstrong-scepticism and, however grudgingly, admit that he probably is one of the three greatest bike riders of all time. So to keep my prejudices intact, Alberto Contador needs to take a grip on Team Astana and make it clear that he's the boss these days...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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