Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Vasseur: Former Postie no Lance fan

Lance Armstrong might be poised to become a Tour de France legend - but the 31-year-old American's personal style has been given a vote of no confidence by a former team member. According to Cedric Vasseur, who wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for five days in 1997 before joining up with Armstrong in 2000 for a brief spell, Armstrong's successful campaign to dominate the world's biggest bike race is simply no fun for those who help him. Now a member of France's top team Cofidis, 32-year-old Vasseur admits he retains some good memories from his time with the tough-talking

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003

Lance Armstrong might be poised to become a Tour de France legend – but the 31-year-old American’s personal style has been given a vote of no confidence by a former team member.

According to Cedric Vasseur, who wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for five days in 1997 before joining up with Armstrong in 2000 for a brief spell, Armstrong’s successful campaign to dominate the world’s biggest bike race is simply no fun for those who help him.

Now a member of France’s top team Cofidis, 32-year-old Vasseur admits he retains some good memories from his time with the tough-talking Texan.

However, from riding for one of the world’s most successful cycling teams one year to being ditched ahead of the Tour the next, Vasseur admits he’s glad he made the move.

“I don’t regret anything even though it finished pretty badly. I learned a lot from my two years with Armstrong,” Vasseur told L’Equipe on Thursday.

“It was great to be a part of the team in the first year (2000) but the following year when the Tour was leaving from my region (Dunkirk) I was left out of the team at the last minute.”

He doesn’t make allowances for anybody – you’re simply a number. I can’t stand that. I want to experience my own joy.
Cedric Vasseur

The latter incident sparked Vasseur’s departure from the team – a decision he is glad to have stood by.

“I don’t really want to go into the details,” added Vasseur, who said Armstrong doesn’t even say hello to him anymore. “Let’s just say I learned a lesson from my experience – that you can’t trust anybody. I quickly realized that that kind of team wasn’t for me.”

Asked why, Vasseur said: “I just can’t sacrifice myself 100 percent for the team without having my say. Armstrong asks his teammates for total sacrifice.

“He doesn’t make allowances for anybody – you’re simply a number,” Vasseur added. “I can’t stand that. I want to experience my own joy. Obviously I was happy in 2000 when Armstrong won, but I just can’t and don’t want to sacrifice everything for the sake of a team leader. It goes against my whole philosophy on the sport.

“When you’re part of U.S. Postal, you’re not allowed to slip into a breakaway group on the Tour for example – you have to stay right next to the leader. It’s like sitting in a Porsche and not being allowed to drive over 80kph. And that’s stupid.

“He (Armstrong) doesn’t even say hello to me – even though I worked with him for two years. “I think he still believes I had something to do with the cold welcome he was given when the Tour left from Dunkirk in 2001. He underestimated how much I was known up there.” However Vasseur, who moved to Cofidis in 2002 and recently won a stage for the French outfit at the Dauphine Libéré that was won by Armstrong, denies he still held a grudge. “He still thinks he’s the nicest, and the strongest. But he is not the only one in this life and one of these days he’ll realize that,” Vasseur said. “I still think that as far as cycling goes, he’s unbeatable. No one can beat him on a regular basis. But at the end of the day he will retire and then there will be another rider who comes along and takes his place.”
(Copyright AFP2003)


VeloNews.com welcomes reader comments on this and other topics.Please send your e-mail to WebLetters@7Dogs.com.Letters may be published and, if so, may be edited for length and clarity.Please include your FULL NAME and HOME TOWN.