I admit it. I bought the Livestrong bracelets, gave some away, and wore some proudly. I also watched the Tour de France and laughed at some ot the things Bob Roll said along the way. I was addicted. For about 5 years or so. Then Lance "retired", he had won his seventh Tour de France and had achieved something no one did. He had a tremendous impact on the world of cycling particularly in the US.
As you may have heard Lance is back to competitive cycling and is racing in the 2009 Tour de France. Love him or hate him he is a superstar. Now I wonder does he still have the impact that he once had all those years ago?
The answer is a resounding yes. Search "Tour de France" or "US cycling" in Google Trends and you'll see a peak in 2005 when Lance last won the Tour de France only to see a decline every year only to rebound in 2009 when he returned to cycling. In fact, newsworthy items related to these search terms explode in 2008 when Lance announced his return to professional cycling.
Yes, Lance matters and I enjoy every minute of it.