Comments made by Lance Armstrong in The Guardian this week sparked a
negative reaction from the mainstream press on Friday. In the
interview, Armstrong worried about his safety should he race the 2009
Tour de France, saying that directors of French teams had "encouraged
people to take to the streets".
The statements led NY Daily News writer Nathaniel Vinton to muse, "One
can't help suspect that Armstrong is using this stuff as preemptive
spin to set the stage for an upcoming decision to back out of the
NBC Sports contributor Mike Celizic was less forgiving, and said
Armstrong "looks like a drama queen on wheels" and called him a
"narcissist" who is "clearly so consumed with his own self-importance,
he thinks all of this nonsense simply has to be conveyed to a world
that couldn't care less".
Even Armstrong's former teammate, Paolo Savoldelli, said before the
interview was published that Armstrong "loves to stay at the centre of
attention, in the limelight," but added that the American knows that
he can still win. "He will be at the Giro but his objective is to win
The criticism of the media may simply add fuel to Armstrong's fire.
Astana manager Johan Bruyneel told La Dernire Heure this week, "Lance
has always drawn motivation from anger and resentment. And I must say,
while winning is fun, there's nothing more satisfying than winning
when everyone wants you to lose."
Armstrong and his team manager Johan Bruyneel are scheduled to meet
with the Tour de France organiser, the Amaury Sport Organisation, to
discuss his possible start in the race next July