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It’s the same dedication that drives all cyclists. As the snow fell outside, members of the D’Ornellas cycling club pushed hard on their kinetic trainers right up until Lance Armstrong’s highly anticipated televised confessional.
Many of the team members were attracted to the sport because of Armstrong’s unprecedented seven Tour de France victories. “Cycling was an edgy European sport,” he said. But all those people who were running before and looked down on bikes are cycling now, partly because of Lance and partly because they’ve blown their knees, he joked.
“It’s a great opportunity to get together,” said City Buick owner Michael Carmichael, a longtime partner of the club. It’s a bit nostalgic, he said. There will be a lot of “where were you when,” he said.
Everyone here has followed the ups and downs of Armstrong’s career. From his brush with death from cancer to his miraculous recovery to his rise to cycling dominance. Then the doping allegations, the denials, the stripped titles and the lost sponsorships.
There was a general sentiment that everyone was doping, and it’s unfair to lay all the blame on Armstrong.
“He was still the best doper,” said club member Ken Deering, “he beat all the other guys.”
“It’s like Ben Johnson said: ‘It’s only cheating when you’re the only one.’”
Before the interview even began, the crowd, braying for blood, asked him if he had ever doped.
“No,” D’Ornellas said, but he often questioned the other riders while he suffered during rides.