July 25, 2004
Armstrong 3rd least popular in France
In a poll published Sunday in Le Journal du Dimanche, Armstrong ranked 3rd from least popular among athletes, ahead of F1 driver Michael Schumacher and soccer player Nicolas Anelka.
"They don't know what they want, what kind of champion they want," Armstrong said.
"Why do they stand there and boo me and cheer for a guy who's been involved in the greatest doping scandal in cycling history? It does not make sense," he added.
Rupert Guinness chimes in on the same subject:
He cited two previous five-time Tour champions as examples of riders who faced similarly hostile receptions – Frenchman Jacques Anquetil and Belgian Eddy Merckx.
"If Anquetil were alive today, he'd say they booed him all the time. Eddy Merckx was booed every day. If I'm in that company, I'm OK," Armstrong said.
"For me it's comforting to know that all the past champions were booed. We race in a country that sometimes likes the man who comes second a lot more than the one who comes first."
What makes Armstrong so strong in the Tour?
"I know it's a mix of talent and work," he said. "It's a question about not being 10kg overweight six weeks before the Tour. It's a full-year commitment. That's our secret."
lance is the boss
Posted by: marcelo at Jul 26, 2004 5:01:45 PM