Lance Armstrong “confessed.” The world reacted. Some sounded off on Facebook and Twitter, some played drinking games and placed bets on key words and phrases used during the infamous Oprah interview, some just couldn’t care less. But of all of the reactions from around the Interwebs, this open letter to Lance from Patrick Brady, the publisher of cycling website Red Kite Prayer, might be my favorite.
The piece—refreshingly—cuts through all of the extremist reactions that are present on both sides of the argument and addresses the real issues plaguing cycling in a thoughtful, respectful way. It tactfully busts myths and questions that are somehow still hanging in the air, and Brady manages finishes the whole thing without coming off as bitter or angry, as much of the cycling world has.
Let me begin by saying that I bear you no malice. I am not someone who’d like to see you dragged through the streets of Paris so that crowds can do to you what crowds are wont to do. I am not someone who has forgotten that you have done real good in the world and am well aware that in guys like Mike Ward and Jeff Castelaz, there continue to be genuine acolytes to the north star you provided those navigating the perils of cancer. I’m okay with that.
I am not someone who has forgotten the hope you represented to cycling here in the U.S. back in 1996, that you began to fill the void left by the retirement of Greg LeMond. I’ll never forget hearing Jim Ochowicz say at the final press conference for the Tour DuPont that it was time to start grooming you to win the Tour de France. I wrote this as you began your comeback, and when you did win the Tour in ’99 I thought myself prescient, rather than duped.