CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Lance Armstrong's recent confession to Oprah Winfrey about his use of performance-enhancing drugs brought mixed reviews to the cycling community in Hampton Roads.
"He's such an inspiration and... it just really sucks," Alex Smith, service manager at Far Frogs in Chesapeake said.
Inspiration is an understatement. During his cycling career, Armstrong won a record seven straight Tour de France titles, fought cancer and inspired millions to hit the road.
"If Lance Armstrong hadn't raced bikes to me, we wouldn't have the cycling community that we have. We wouldn't have as many people that are racing," Chris Brooks with Conte's in Virginia Beach said.
"We have customers coming in every day and Lance is what started them on the bike a couple of years ago," Smith said.
It's tough news for any cycling fan.
"I think everybody kin of knew he was. I know a lot of people, including myself, were hoping that he wasn't," Smith said.
Brooks said he had always been a fan of Armstrong's, but over the years, like many others, he developed doubts.
"With the money riding on it and their reputations, I can understand, but the same time, yeah, I agree with everybody. It's definitely a blow," Brooks said.
Brooks said even though the ordeal is a huge blow to cycling fans, it won't but the breaks on cycling in Hampton Roads.
"I don't think it's gonna hurt in the long run," Smith said. "Cycling is just bigger than Lance Armstrong."
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