The clash between Paul Kimmage and Lance Armstrong at Thursday's pre Tour of California press conference is clearly a moment that has refocused the divisions amongst those of us who care about cycling and its future (see yesterdays YouTube posting to watch what happened). On one side there is the pro Armstrong camp who believe he should be left alone to race and raise awareness of the global cancer burden. On the other side is the pro Kimmage camp who are sick and tired of the dopers and cheats who discredit and tarnish cycling's reputation.
I can empathise with both camps. Kimmage is an ex-pro cyclist turned journalist who very bravely rejected the traditional code of silence in favour of speaking out against doping. Cycling needs people like Kimmage with his openly staunch anti doping stance in order to help turn the tide against cheating, without the likes of Kimmage and his ilk it would take cycling far longer to rise from the depths from which it has fallen.
As I mentioned in my second ever posting Armstrong's mission to raise awareness of the global cancer burden and in turn raise millions for the cause is an extremely worthy and noble one. Even if Amstrong is using the cause as a smoke screen to cover up a different reason for his comeback I say, so what? He still raises awareness and he still raises money. Amstrong's Livestrong cause will always be the trump card he can use against detractors such as Kimmage.
Although I agree with both Kimmage's and Armstrong's causes I find myself disliking both of them. Kimmage should never have called Armstrong a cancer, he made a big mistake doing that, it was a very distasteful and offensive comment to make. Armstrong's arrogance, and for want of a better term, strong arm bully boy tactics are equally dislikable.
Ultimately though I believe when both Armstrong and Kimmage are old men reminiscing about what they have achieved in their lives they'll be able to look themselves in the mirror and know they both brought more good than bad to the world.