Posted at: 01/17/2013 6:02 PM
Updated at: 01/17/2013 6:11 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Thursday is the day of reckoning for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, scheduled to air Thursday night, Armstrong will reportedly confess to using performance enhancing drugs.
The local cycling community has mixed reactions.
On any given day you don't have to look hard to find a cyclist or two who is out on a road bike who was inspired by Lance Armstrong.
He also has sold tens of millions of yellow "Livestrong" bracelets for his cancer foundation over the years.
Regardless of his admitted drug use, some say it's important to remember the positive impact he has had in the state of New Mexico.
He wont the Tour de France title seven times and even won an Olympic medal, but Armstrong's resume and reputation are now tarnished.
"He seems like he was manipulative of other cyclists, so I think he's kind of getting what he deserves now," Mark Thompson, a local cyclist, said.
Some said they're not surprised, but are, nonetheless, disappointed.
"The great thing about Lance Armstrong was that he introduced cycling to not the cycling community, so you had all kinds of new people coming in that were inspired by him," Johnny Bargeron, of High Desert Bikes, said. "We won't see the same influx of people that want to get involved in cycling probably with Lance being the way he is."
But his path across New Mexico is one that will never be forgotten, for anyone who has ever participated in the Tour of the Gila.
"We got to a point in 2009 that we were ready to pull the plug on the race," Jack Brennan, race director, said.
That is when a bike company by the name of Sram sponsored and revived the race.
"We didn't find this out for about a year or so, the person behind the phone call was Lance Armstrong," Brennan said. "People just came to see him, they didn't care that he was a racer, they didn't care what he did in Tour de France, they were out here to see this guy who was involved in cancer, cancer awareness, cancer research. There's a lot of respect I have for him, in that regard, that he helped save our race."