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Richmond cyclists still admire Lance Armstrong

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles. The U-S Anti-Doping Agency made the announcement Friday after Armstrong decided to give up his fight against the agency.

Armstrong denies using performance enhancing drugs and never tested positive.  Area cyclists are reacting over Armstrong’s decision.  

With 28 years of cycling and thousands of miles of road behind him, Steve Herzog admires what Lance Armstrong accomplished over hill and dale despite allegations of doping.

“You look at him in awe and wonder. I think he is a great rider”, Herzog says. “There should be a window to do the tests and once it’s done it’s done.”

Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor who inspired countless others is putting the brakes on in his fight with the US Anti-Doping Agency.  As a result, the seven time Tour De France champ is having his medals and other honors stripped.

“He’s the reason I ride my bike,” said Richmond area cyclist Jim Denoon. “What they need to do is to go through blood test for everyone that has won the Tour De France and go through that and see what happens.”

Cyclist Jan Waldron said, “Really, I think he got tired of fighting it. I don’t think it is an admission of guilt.”

Some members of the Richmond Area Bicyclist Association say the investigation into Armstrong’s alleged use of performance enhancing and banned substances amounts to nothing more than a witch hunt.

RABA member Doug Harrel says, “I don’t blame him. It is not a fight he’s going to win whether he is innocent or not.I feel he’s done more for cycling than any single person.”

Others however say even though he’s not admitting guilt, to see the man who wore the yellow jersey so many times raise the white flag, will tarnish his image forever.

“Makes him look a little guilty I suppose,” says cyclist Hugh Aaron.

Some cyclists say if he is innocent, Armstrong shouldn’t throw in the towel.

Despite the cloud hanging over his legacy many in the cycling world will always see him as a champion.

Steve Herzog would like to see Lance Armstrong continue to fight the allegations. “I always go back to where is the proof,” says Herzog. “The accomplishment is there you can’t ever take that away. I guess you can take the place away but you can’t take the accomplishment away.”