Lance licenzia senza preavviso i giornalisti (accorsi a centinaia in più al Giro SOLO perché c’era lui … Pure oggi arrivato tranquillo tra i primi sul Vesuvio: sovra – umano)
May 28, 2009, 2:06 PM
Lance Armstrong Covers Lance Armstrong
By ROBERT MACKEY
A recent video blog post by Lance Armstrong and his teammate Levi Leipheimer, shot by the cyclists themselves after they completed a grueling stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Updated | May 29 Lance Armstrong, who stopped talking to the news media without explanation or comment nearly two weeks ago, is not the first star athlete to tire of answering questions from reporters, but he does seem to be the first to embark on a drive to put them out of business entirely, by simply reporting, in multimedia blog posts and tweets, on his own exploits.
As my colleague Juliet Macur reported earlier this week, Philippe Maertens, a spokesman for Mr. Armstrong’s cycling team, “said that Armstrong was at first upset with reports that he had been the instigator of a rider protest last week in Milan. Now, Maertens said, he was not sure why Armstrong continued his boycott of the news media.” According to the spokesman, the seven-time Tour de France champion told him simply, “I don’t need them.”
Given his immense fame, and the power of the new media tools he has obviously mastered, Mr. Armstrong is now free to cut out the middle man and go straight to the people.
Ever the competitor, Mr. Armstrong even seems to be enjoying tweaking his new rivals in the press corps, secure in the knowledge that he is scooping them hour after hour as he posts regular updates to his chatty Twitter feed, where he banters with other cyclists, comments on his comeback and even answers questions from some of his more than 933,000 followers. Last week he even took a moment to post this comment on a news report saying that some members of the cycling media had stopped quoting his tweets, in an effort to force him to engage with them:
Bitter sports reporters are boycotting @lancearmstrong’s Tweets. Good luck with that, and welcome to 2009.
It has to be said that he is quite good at this kind of tweeted, blogged and vlogged coverage, which may bode well for his chances of winning another kind of race, for governor of Texas in 2014.
At a press conference in February, he had a testy exchange about doping with an Irish journalist and former rider, Paul Kimmage, who has suggested that Mr. Armstrong cheated and even called the champion a “cancer” on cycling.
When Mr. Armstrong is in control of the coverage, the subject of doping is not often part of the conversation.