A time and a place

Ellis Bacon’s Interbike report – Lance Armstrong’s press conference

‘Frosty’ doesn’t come close to describing the atmosphere at Lance Armstrong’s press conference at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas after three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond sat in the front row to question the seven-time Tour winner.

Or, more specifically, to question anti-doping expert Don Catlin of Anti-Doping Research (ADR) – the man who'll be monitoring and then publishing Armstrong’s blood values and  testosterone/epitestosterone ratio, among other things.

While he appreciated the Armstrong camp’s efforts to be more transparent, LeMond argued that such measures were not good enough. He wants to see the publication of riders’ VO2 max results, claiming that power output values would be a much better gauge of whether a rider was doping.

“We appreciate you coming, Greg, but we’re here to talk about other things, such as the fight against cancer,” Armstrong chipped in before asking the audience for another question.

It was the calmness of both men that was most unnerving. LeMond tried again later and met with much the same reaction, first from Catlin, to whom the questions were addressed, and then Armstrong, who chaired his own press conference and kept things moving along.

“All I can do is test Armstrong and make the results public,” an exasperated Catlin told Procycling once the press conference was over. “I can’t do any more than that, can I?”

Half an hour later, LeMond and Catlin sat down together to smooth things over and LeMond seemed content that the two will speak again.

It may not be the last time that LeMond and Armstrong clash, but at least they’re kind of talking…

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