Lance Armstrong is making a comeback.
At least a bike mechanic?
The disgraced former face of cycling appeared in a new video on Outside Online in one of his first public appearances since admitting to doping to Oprah in January 2013. In the video, Armstrong opens with a joke referencing his seven stripped Tour de France titles, and then goes through a simple demonstration of changing the tire.
So how did Outside, a magazine that has been publicly slammed by Armstrong in the past for some of its tougher stories about him, get Armstrong to come out for the shoot?
“It was really quite simple,” said Outside editor Christopher Keyes. “We asked, he said yes — much to our surprise.”
The video was shot to go along with an issue of the magazine filled with how-to stories. Keyes said that Outside magazine senior editor Grayson Schaffer still has an open line to Armstrong and reached out to see if he was interested.
At the shoot, Keyes said, Armstrong seemed like the last year had changed him.
“You can tell it’s been a hard year and he did seem very relaxed and happy to be doing something else,” he said.
Before the video was made, a few editors had an off-the-record lunch with Armstrong where they discussed some of the tougher stories they had done on the cyclist among other things.
“I think this speaks to how radically the world has changed for him in two years,” Keyes said. “And I think part of that is his recognition that Outside and [other publications] covered all facets of him.”
While Armstrong still has some more lawsuits to settle relating to his cycling career and its messy end, it’s unlikely the American public hasn’t seen the last of him — that is if they will have him back.
“I think he sees some kind of a third act for himself,” Keyes said. “I think anyone who has been in the spotlight for as long as he was, it’s got to be hard to completely disappear in the way he has.”