The Ottumwa Courier

January 19, 2013

Armstrong’s confession not surprising to local cyclists

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Area cycling enthusiasts were not shocked about Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace in the sport.

Josh Gettings, owner of Riverside Cyclery in Ottumwa, said he wasn’t overwhelmed or surprised by the news.

“You’ll find that in every professional sport, and cyclists doing it now doesn’t surprise me,” he said Friday. “I’ve said everybody was doing it. It’s not that I condone it or want to see it enforced.”

People have “to kind of accept it and hope for the best,” he added.

Armstrong rose to a high level from the start and attracted sponsors like Oakley and Nike, Gettings said. Such expectations at that level of sports usually means the bad news will become overwhelming against someone like Armstrong.

“The sponsors will back away,” he added.

Gettings believes the bottom line is keeping away from the situation.

“Things are playing out, but it’s really nothing,” Gettings said. “The industry will be disappointed but, to me, it’s just not a big breaking story. It goes on every day in pro sports.”

Gettings loves cycling and loves it when others get in on it, too. But, he doesn’t like idolizing someone.

“It saddens me when people get upset over a hero,” he said. “I’m going to continue doing what I do. I know that stuff about Armstrong exists, but I won’t let it ruin my day.”

Jeff Wilford is president of Bobzilla’s Bicycle Werks in Oskaloosa, and he too wasn’t surprised about Armstrong’s recent revelations.

“It didn’t make sense that he was beating every other rider and he had only just started,” Wilford said. “He stepped on people, crushed them and climbed over folks.”

Wilford said Armstrong admitting his problems doesn’t change anything. In fact, knowing about his habits hurt a lot.

“I’m not surprised that he doped and not surprised they took his titles,” Wilford said. “He was revered by a lot of people. But, he doped and he lied about it for a decade, and he stepped on anybody who suggested otherwise.”