Armstrong Admission Will Impact Local Cycling


Lance Armstrong is no longer connected to a major bike manufacturer in Wisconsin, but cyclists in the state say his drug use will lasting impact on the sport.

The number of Wisconsin residents watching the Tour de France will probably never reach the level of Packer viewers for a big game. But cycling is popular in Wisconsin. And it’s big business: Trek Bicycle Corporation and Waterford Precision Cycles are located here. The financial boost to the state from both racing and recreational cycling is estimated to be higher than that of deer hunting, according to a 2010 report by UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. So with Lance Armstrong’s admission of doping, after years of denial, bikers at all levels around the country are talking. Kate Konkel, of Madison, is a cyclocross racer. She says the Armstrong controversy could change cycling for the better, “I think there’s more pressure, maybe, to race ‘clean’ than to race ‘dirty’ which I think is a change from when Lance was coming up through the ranks.”

Paul Worloski is a bike racer from Milwaukee. He has all Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories on videotape. But now Worloski is getting rid of them: he doesn’t want to watch now that Armstrong admitted it was more than athletic ability and training that boosted his performance, “You know, I’m going to go watch college teams and the local pros here who have jobs and who are doing an honest day’s effort and who are training. I think I will stick with them.”

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Armstrong has lost many of his endorsements, including Trek.