Lance

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Last night I stayed up late, to watch a remarkable documentary on a fallen hero of our times – Lance Armstrong. On the day the Tour de France hit London, it couldn’t have been better timed.

The ordinary background, the “f#ck ’em all” early years, the descent into cancer and vicious chemo, the fight back and astonishing, triumphant 1999 Tour de France victory. Then the doping rumours, allegations, flat denials, Feds, hubris, betrayals (of him and by him) and the final fall.

His is an epic story of Greek proportions. But I come away confused… Charming, brutal, controlling, intimidating. But now vanquished: a quieter, reflective and for me, a better man.

A modern Achilles, it’s not for nothing that all Greek tragedy had a narrative arc. There are no gods in real life, only mortals. And in acknowledging he has done wrong – albeit too late and with a trail of lies and damaged lives in his wake – he has begun the steep climb to redemption.

I wish him well on that road.

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