NEVADA CITY, CA (BRAIN) — During Lance Armstrong's comeback to racing in 2009 and 2010, he raced just a handful of times in the U.S. But one of those few times was at the Nevada City Classic, a relatively modest but historic criterium in this old mining town. Just before starting the 2009 Giro d'Italia, Armstrong and teammates Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer jetted in to Nevada City, where Armstrong scored one of the only wins of his comeback with a dominant solo breakaway on the hilly course.
After Armstrong was charged with doping and had his race results nullified last year, Nevada City race organizer Duane Strawser — who also owns the Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop and is mayor of the old Gold Rush town — was an obvious interview subject for the hordes of journalists sniffing around the story. After fielding "hundreds" of questions in recent months, Strawser said he's had enough.
"I have to shut this topic down," he said in an email this week.
"It’s not worth my time (or any of yours, for that matter as far as I’m concerned) to continue to dwell on the Lance Armstrong topic," he continued. He sent the email to a list of journalists, including BRAIN, who had made inquiries in recent months.
The inquiries reached a fever pitch recently when the local newspaper The Union published a story about USA Cycling's effort to wipe Armstrong's Nevada City win from the record books. Strawser feels he was misquoted in the article. Before shutting down the topic, he wanted to clarify that even though Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey he hasn't doped since his 2005 Tour de France win, he didn't buy it.
"I don’t believe for a second that Lance Armstrong won the 2009 Nevada City Classic cleanly, simply because he stated so in the Oprah Winfrey interviews" Strawser said.
Strawser said he is waiting for more information before adjusting the race results.
“Denying he doped during this comeback time period has put us back into a position of letting the dust settle until (hopefully) more facts present themselves in the near future,” he said.
In the meantime, Strawser said he's focused on his family, this year's race, the upcoming Jimmy Rogers Memorial Ride and other duties, including his mayoral responsibilities.