I’m not a big fan of cycling. Besides razzing around on my Wildcat when I was ten years old, pulling off jumps that could go anywhere as high as four centimeters from the ground, I have no authority to talk about cycling, Tour de Frances or even Paperboy for the Commodore 64. So why would I sit through a near two hour documentary based on cycling’s greatest fallen hero, Lance Armstrong?
Part of my reason for watching is that small, petty side of me that demands justice be served no matter how paltry the infraction. Jump a queue? Expect a judgmental glare from me. Drop litter on the street? That ‘tut’ you can hear is mine, my friend. So the fact this documentary featured an actual famous person getting caught for a major breaking of the rules made it pedant porn in my eyes.
However, the bigger reason for viewing was due to a friend of mine who seems to eat, sleep and, indeed, poo cycling once hero-worshiped Lance Armstrong, to the point where Benedict XVI would have felt a lack of devotion in comparison. He seemed genuinely crestfallen when early last year the American cyclist finally admitted to years of doping in order to score his victories. I was interested as to what kind of a man could inspire such devotion and revere from him before he was knocked off his pedestal. I knew Armstrong had beaten testicular cancer and had raised millions for charity (and been in Dodgeball) but I was intrigued to find out just how this man had become a living legend that transcended his sport.