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Suncoast reacts to Armstrong admission

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Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 5:05 pm | Updated: 5:05 pm, Fri May 16, 2014.

SARASOTA--For biking enthusiast Tony McEachern, Lance Armstong has always been more than a world famous athlete.

"When I was diagnosed, that was his (Armstrong's) prime and somebody I looked up to," said McEachern.

Ten years ago, he was facing an agressive brain tumor, one that he eventually beat, by taking cues from Armstrong's successful battle against cancer.

"He gave me that hope that I can get over it," said McEachern, "it's not who I am its just something I have."

So when news broke Tuesday that Armstrong had finally admitted to doping, McEachern's reaction was honest.

"I don't care," said McEachern, "he's done more for cycling than any single person has done in the world...and he's done more for cancer research than anybody else either."

For most, the news didn't come as any surprise.

     

"It's something that we all kinda knew had been going he just wasn't willing to admit it for one reason or another," said Edward Levins, owner of Village Bikes.

While Armstrong's star in the cycling world has faded, there's still hope his legacy as a cancer advocate will keep on shining.

"When it comes to what really matters, he was a cheat," said Marc Alton, "he cheated death, he cheated cancer and he's helping other people learn how to cheat death and cancer too."

Alton started Sharkey's annual Ride the Beaches to support the Livestrong Foundation.

He says they'll continue to raise money, and hopes that people look beyond Armstrong's bad decisions.

"It's really about the 28 million people that are surviving with cancer and not the one man that rode his bike," said Alton.

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