Reaction: 'I don't want to waste any more of my time on Lance Armstrong. It's still all an act'

Once they revered him – but after his interview with Oprah Winfrey, cycling fans were unimpressed

Those in the cycling community who watched part one of the Armstrong-Winfrey show with tired eyes early this morning were at first startled by his positive answers to yes-or-no questions about doping: yes, yes, yes. After 15 years of denials, bullying and manipulation, he had finally said it.

"I've interviewed this man many times," Ned Boulting, an ITV cycling presenter, tweeted seconds later. "I find his words, despite everything, breathtaking."

But then, after the shock of the new, Armstrong reverted to type, dodging questions with a chilling lack of emotion and those familiar, cold eyes. After 90 minutes, an audience of cycling enthusiasts and those he had duped went to bed angry.

"I don't want to waste any more of my time with Lance Armstrong," said Mike Anderson, a former mechanic and assistant, who faced legal action after accusing the rider of doping. "He's an incredible actor and that's what you saw today."

Christophe Bassons, the French cyclist who accused Armstrong of ending his career because he would not dope, said: "He stayed the way I thought he would: cold, hard... he's not totally honest even in his so-called confession. I think he admits some of it to avoid saying the rest."

Bonnie D Ford, a US sports journalist, noted the characteristic control the rider exerted over Oprah. "It was a typical Lance event," she wrote on the ESPN website. "It was about spectacle and managed production and trying to craft another chapter in a punctured epic that has... sunk to earth."

According to the Armstrong narrative, he was more "flawed" than genuinely sorry, more evasive than contrite, and selective in the apologies he promised to those who suffered the worst effects of his defiant bullying.

Most contentious was his address to Betsy Andreu, the wife of Lance Armstrong's former teammate Frankie Andreu, who says she heard Armstrong admit to doping while receiving cancer treatment in hospital in 1996.

Armstrong conceded that he had called Andreu "crazy" and "a bitch", before adding with a smirk that infuriated the early whistleblower, "but not fat".

He also declined to apologise and refused to be drawn on the accuracy of her claims.

"I'm really disappointed. You owed it to me, Lance, and you dropped the ball," Andreu told CNN minutes later. "After what you've done to me, what you've done to my family, and you couldn't own up to it. And now we're supposed to believe you?" Professional cyclists still in competition were generally less forthcoming, but the Australian rider Stuart O'Grady said: "Lance deceived everybody on the planet, us included. Now it's all come out, [I am] deceived, annoyed, frustrated."

David Walsh, the Sunday Times writer who accused Armstrong from the start, welcomed the early admission but added later: "The more I think about the interview, the more conscious I become of the evasions and non-answers. His truth will come dropping slowly."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering