Cycling experts react to Lance Armstrong's interview

11:45 PM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
Jan. 14, 2013: Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey. (Photo by George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images).
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CLEVELAND -- Northeast Ohio has a budding cycling community, both recreational and competitive.

When the sport's greatest hero (and one of the greatest heroes of sports in general) fell from grace amid doping allegations, local cyclists tuned in to OWN to watch Oprah's exclusive interview with Lance Armstrong. 

In the two part interview, Armstrong admitted for the first time that he used performance enhancing drugs.

"He said, 'Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.' So his one-word admission, but beyond that, he still didn't apologize. He still isn't remorseful," said Diane Lees.

Lees is a cycling journalist, known for her weekly radio show on WJCU 88.7 FM, 'The Outspoken Cyclist'.

She says Friday was the first day she really felt angry and upset by Armstrong.

"I don't know who's wanting the money back. It's be nice if he gave some reputations back," Lees said.

Robert Fernandez is a former competitive cyclist, who raced against Armstrong at the amateur level many years ago. 

"He was an amazing athlete," Fernandez said.

Today Fernandez owns a sports marketing company in North Royalton, and also manages the Amateur Elite cycling team (a 100 % clean team) that is sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic.

Fernandez says he is looking at the good that Armstrong did through creating the Livestrong Foundation, a cause that is close to Fernandez's heart, since he has many people in his life who have battled cancer.

He also sees an opportunity for a rebirth of cycling, that does not involve illegal drugs.

"I would love to have our program continue and unearth those young children and give them the opportunity to race at the highest level, and do it clean," Fernandez said.

The Outspoken Cyclist's show on Lance Armstrong will air on 88.7 FM on Saturday, at 5:30 p.m.


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