Handshakegate: First Luis Suarez, now Lance Armstrong declines to press the flesh (+ video)

Seven-time TDF champ comes second in debut Ironman 70.3 - and then 'snubs' winner, claims NZ press

by Simon_MacMichael   February 13, 2012  

Lance Armstrong (pic courtesy Photosport International)

Following a weekend in which the sports headlines in Britain have been dominated by the handshake – or rather, the lack thereof – between Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, comes news of another perceived slight involving an athlete apparently refusing to press the flesh. This time, one of the men involved is none other than seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.

As reported on road.cc last week, the Texan has returned to competitive sport, announcing his participation in Ironman events throughout 2012.

The first of those took place in Panama yesterday, when the 40-year-old finished second in the half-distance Ironman 70.3 triathlon, won by New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty, 2004 Olympic triathlon gold medallist.

Afterwards, Docherty reveled that Armstrong had brushed past him at the end of the race, reports the New Zealand Herald, without acknowledging his victory, although he did congratulate him later on, adds the newspaper, which described the initial omission as a ‘snub.’

"I'm not sure what it was all about, I can only assume he was just disappointed to get beaten," Docherty said.

"I did shake his hand a little bit later. He's on a completely different level and planet to us guys [triathletes]," he added.

"It's great to have him in the sport, he certainly adds something. It's an eye opener to see how he gets mobbed and the chaos around him."

Unsurprisingly Armstrong, who competed in triathlon as a teenager before concentrating on road cycling, put in a quicker time than Docherty on the cycling leg of the event.

However, the New Zealander was surprised that his rival, whose 22 Tour de France stage wins include two prologues and four individual time trials, wasn’t more dominant on the bike, although at 90km the distance is well in excess of a typical grand tour time trial stage.

"I thought Lance would absolutely cream us on the bike, but he was probably in a similar position to me where he wasn't too sure how to pace himself," said Docherty. "He certainly looked like he was holding back and that was probably why he ran so well off the bike."

The Kiwi overhauled Armstrong 2.5km from the end of the third and final leg of the event, a 21km run.

"It's great that I could hold one up for the other triathletes and show that it's certainly not a sport that you can just walk into and dominate straight away," he added.

"It's quite an honour to see a seven-time Tour de France winner and someone you admire standing in second place below you on the podium. It's a highlight of my career."

The current controversy over apparent refusal to shake hands isn’t confined to the leading names in sport either. Yesterday, TV cameras caught the Aston Villa mascot blanking his Manchester City counterpart ahead of the teams’ Premier League clash at Villa Park.

21 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

really? that's it? Oh my! Lance is the Devil! LoL...

Devil

posted by dino [57 posts]
13th February 2012 - 14:38

1 Like

did this really warrant a major headline / article.
perhaps he was busting for the loo!!!!!!

posted by a_to_the_j [85 posts]
13th February 2012 - 14:43

1 Like

Oh no Simon, you may upset some Lance fanboys Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th February 2012 - 14:55

1 Like

Is this really cycling news? Discuss.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
13th February 2012 - 14:58

1 Like

londonplayer wrote:
Is this really cycling news? Discuss.

No it isn't as we all know triathletes can't ride for toffee Wink

posted by gazzaputt [185 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:03

1 Like

In true tabloid tradition i love the way you have searched the archives for a picture of him with a scowl on his face to fit the story, although, to be fair, you probably didn't have to look too hard.

posted by sneakerfrfeak [78 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:04

2 Likes

But..but..but..it's Lance!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3471 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:05

1 Like

londonplayer wrote:
Is this really cycling news? Discuss.

It did involve a "legendary" ex pro cyclist and have 90km of cycling in there, so all in all...................NO not really, but are most of the things broadcast on any number of "news" programs across the TV, printed in mag's and papers and then circulated around the net by media outlets really all news worthy Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:07

0 Likes

londonplayer wrote:
Is this really cycling news? Discuss.

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

Rule #42
// A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.

If it’s preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run, it is not called a bike race, it is called duathlon or a triathlon. Neither of which is a bike race. Also keep in mind that one should only swim in order to prevent drowning, and should only run if being chased. And even then, one should only run fast enough to prevent capture.

Here endeth the lesson

(p.s. for the Lance-fanboys, see Rule #4)

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [566 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:26

1 Like

thanks mad scot rider. very amusing!

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:46

0 Likes

Ah but mad scot, the problem arises as "cycling news" on the whole is not just about "a bike race" Wink

P.S. I think we may have made Lance fanboys think again before posting Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th February 2012 - 15:47

1 Like

What's a Lance fanboy?

posted by pwake [313 posts]
13th February 2012 - 18:21

1 Like

pwake wrote:
What's a Lance fanboy?

Someone who loves Lance above all others, believes every word that comes out of his mouth and goes around everywhere proclaiming his god like status and defending him to anyone who might say one word wrong about him

Something like that anyways Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th February 2012 - 19:42

1 Like

Gkam84,

making us think again before posting? ha... nah, just came home from work.

i'm a LA fan, but he's not my idol! I at least recognize a non-story when i see one... and give LA credit for what he's accomplished. The amount of attention he has brought to American cycling and cancer awareness is irrefutable.

micro-doper, etc... blah blah blah, yeah, got it. Yawn

glad to learn from a 2K message man... thanks for your insight.

posted by dino [57 posts]
14th February 2012 - 0:33

2 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Ah but mad scot, the problem arises as "cycling news" on the whole is not just about "a bike race"

Fair point, well made - but to be honest I just saw an opportunity to post something I found wryly amusing Tongue

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [566 posts]
14th February 2012 - 8:57

2 Likes

Thanks for clarifying that, Gkam.
I was concerned I may be considered a 'fanboy' but as I don't love Lance above all others, I don't believe every word that comes out of his mouth and I don't go around everywhere proclaiming his god like status, then I guess I'm in the clear on that one!
I do, however, believe in the premise of innocent until proven guilty. I do, also, appreciate his indefatigable efforts on behalf of cancer survivors. And I do, also, recognise that anyone who was World Professional RR Champ at 21 is an incredible talent and could possibly have gone on to become one of the sport's greats.

I understand Lance does seem a very polarizing character, but you should appreciate that he has transcended the sport of cycling to the extent that, if he was found to have doped, the vast majority of the American public wouldn't give a shit. The French would probably be happy, but, ultimately, they would still be really pissed at not being able to produce a rider to win their own national tour. People who seem to hate Lance would also be briefly happy, but would then find some other target for their hate/bitterness. Of course, if he was British there would be no doubt about his career?
I write this as a Brit who lives in Texas, so I may have a slightly different perspective, but, really, it's time to move on...

posted by pwake [313 posts]
14th February 2012 - 22:59

1 Like

thats just sour grapes cos he didn't win - idiot

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
15th February 2012 - 17:35

1 Like

How DARE he not shake hands the moment there happens to be a reporter present? Who does he think he is, someone who's just completed a thoroughly exhausting race or something?

Andy

posted by jazzdude [61 posts]
15th February 2012 - 19:13

1 Like

Wow pwake, do not take my comments as me being a Lance hater, i actually posted this in the forum before the news item was put up

http://road.cc/content/forum/52549-armstrong-ironman-comback

The only reason i put up what my views of a fanboy were was because someone asked what it meant

I in no way dislike Lance, just think there are a few dodgy things in his past, just like everyone else has, he's just not as squeaky clean as some people make out.

BUT, i have alot of respect for him outside of cycling for what he has done with his charity and his efforts to raise money to fight cancer.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
15th February 2012 - 19:26

2 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
BUT, i have alot of respect for him outside of cycling for what he has done with his charity and his efforts to raise money to fight cancer.

I've understood there's a pretty big question mark as to how much of that charity money goes to the actual fight against cancer, mind

http://fraudbytes.blogspot.com/2012/01/lance-armstrong-investigation.html

Timbo13's picture

posted by Timbo13 [272 posts]
16th February 2012 - 8:56

2 Likes

Agreed, Gkam.
I don't really understand the need for any public figure to be squeaky clean. I'm sure Lance has some dodgy things in his past, as any person would.
Not sure of the size of that question mark Timbo. Article just seems to say that no Livestrong funds go to cancer research, but used for awareness and mentoring etc. Makes sense when there are other massive charities that concentrate solely on research. Why duplicate the effort?

posted by pwake [313 posts]
16th February 2012 - 13:48

0 Likes