Contador and Armstrong having a go at it

It seems that Alberto Contador may have won the Tour De France, but as in any sporting event, the public are always going to root for the person they admire, and are not just going to root for the person that is the best on the day. We’ve seen it time and time again in sports events. Cheering the under dog, cheering the one with the most personality. Alberto Contador has virtually no connection with the public. Armstrong is on Twitter all the time, in press conferences conferences, he’s all over the place and he’s letting us in on his life including the multitude of drug tests he has to go through. And this adds another dimension to the cancer surviving, Tour De France winning hero. This is why we like him. Outside of cycling, most people don’t care about Contador. And this is where Lance differs, in that we are eager to follow his movements all year round, even when he’s not racing. He offers so much more than being a bike rider, he’s got a human aspect to him.

Contador rides the Tour De France, wins it and suddenly wants to be king of the world? That’s not how it works. He then goes out saying that he has no admiration for Armstrong. Then Lance get’s back on Twitter, immediately connecting with his fans:

lance twitter feed

The funny thing is, Alberto won and yet people are more interested in the steely Schleck brothers who fought hard, smiled through the race, worked for each other and brought a certain level of excitement to the tour. Contador is too clinical, too boring, too removed from the public. He’s like a cycling machine, we can’t relate to him, we don’t even know what he enjoys. Cycling admiration is about the rider and his performance, but also about the rider as a person. We know Tom Boonen likes some cocaine and young girls, we know Mario Cippollini was the playboy cyclist. In other sports we had the furious John McEnroe,  we have John Daly who loves to drink and smoke.

But in Contador we essentially have nothing. And in a world where connections are everything, we are about as disconnected from Alberto Contador as we can possibly be. Good cyclist? Yes, of course.

But for many people, the Tour De France is all about personalities, because a lot of the viewers don’t follow cycling all year round, but rather watch the Tour De France because it is a spectacle. It was boring without Lance and the excitement is now back and the public are loving it.

But Contador seems to be going about it all the wrong way, losing respect as he goes.

Sean Lloyd


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