East Texans support Lance Armstrong - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texans support Lance Armstrong

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Whitehouse, Texas (KLTV) - For Tyler Simpson and his daughter Laurie, there's no hiding who their favorite cyclist is.

"We have Lance Armstrong Cokes, Lance Armstrong stamps, pictures, jerseys, basically anything I can collect," said Laurie Simpson.

"He is the greatest cyclist of all time and possibly the greatest athlete," added Tyler.

It was at their store today, Simpson's Fitness & Adventure Sports, they learned the news.

Armstrong has announced he will no longer fight the doping charges brought against him.

He has been stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles and also received a lifetime ban from the USADA. (United States Anti-Doping Agency)

"It is unfortunate, everyone tries to win," said Tyler Simpson, the store's owner, I had always hoped that Lance was clean, but we may never know now."

"If he was supposedly doing it, then everyone else around him was doing it at the same time," said Laurie. "So he was still the fastest."

Despite the bad news, the Simpson's still support Armstrong.

They say the good he has done with his foundation [for cancer research], far outweighs the recent doping allegations.

"Monies from the Lance Armstrong Foundation have been funneled into the "Cancer foundation for Life" and have helped cancer patients right here in East Texas," said Tyler.

And while the punishment for Armstrong is the low point of his career.

Support for him, his foundation, and the sport of cycling has never been higher.

"Actually it is kind of cool to hear everyone talk about Lance again. We are bringing all of this memorabilia out again looking at everytyhing and thinking about his past wins, it is kind of like a party."

"He is still Lance Armstrong, he still won 7 Tour de Frances, even though they make take the title away from him, he still did it."

It's a sentiment, echoed my many in the cycling world as donations to his foundations have increased three times over and merchandise sales have seen a major increase.

Armstrong still maintains he has never taken any performance enhancing drug and points to the hundreds of drug tests he has passed as his evidence.

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