One of Twitter’s many unquantifiable powers is how fast it can move from innocuous to electrifying in minutes.
Not long after Lance Armstrong tweeted birthday greetings to three people, his ex-wife, a popular ESPN anchor and his former boss, Johan Bruyneel, the directeur sportif at US Postal when a pair of disgraced cyclists won eight Tours de France in a row (Alberto Contador being the other), he linked to the statement which sent shockwaves around the US sporting world late on Thursday night.
Yesterday (Friday), @JohanBruyneel was concise in his tweeted reaction to the avalanche of damning criticism of his good friend (“Pathetic...”). Kathy LeMond, wife of Greg LeMond, another US Tour winner (1986, 1989 and 1990), was equally thrifty with her characters: “Finally”.
Another directeur sportif, Steven de Jongh, recent winner at the Tour with Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky, spread the net a little wider: “By deleting Lance, the list of winners doesn’t become more credible.”
Not every media member who battled long and hard to keep the heat on Armstrong is on Twitter. Those who do use the service made sure to pay tribute to those who don’t. @SIDavidEpstein at Sports Illustrated retweeted Nathaniel Vinton (@DownhillWriter) of the New York Daily News: “I’m no David Walsh or Damien Ressiot, but I remember when it was lonely writing about Lance Armstrong and doping.”
Ressiot wrote a famous L’Equipe piece in 2005, Le Mensonge Armstrong (Armstrong the liar). One tweeter translated a Ressiot quote: “I am saddest for the cancer sufferers who made Armstrong a hero. His biggest crime was to lie to those people.”
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