In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with racing cyclist and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong from the June 2005 issue.
“There are different kinds of suffering. There’s the kind you get when your tank is empty and you look up and see 100 guys in front of you. That’s devastating. That’s just rusty pain. But when you’re hurting and you hear on the radio that you’ve got 10 seconds on your biggest rival, and now it’s 20 seconds, or in 2001 two minutes on Ullrich—that’s a true sporting high. You’re numb to pain. You can’t feel the lactate in your muscles, and you just go faster and faster.”
“When baseball players were charged with using steroids, what was their defense? Nothing. Saying ‘It’s not true.’ Whereas my defense is hundreds of drug controls, at races and everywhere else. The testers could roll up here right this minute. They knocked on my door in Austin last week. In a way it’s the ultimate in Big Brother, having to declare where you are 365 days a year so they can find you and test you. But those tests are my best defense.”
“You get a new yellow jersey every day, but I like to keep wearing the first one. It feels better once you break it in, like a favorite old T-shirt you’ve worn a thousand times. On the last day I’ll take it off and save it. All six of my last-day jerseys are up on my wall. If they weren’t glassed in, they’d be stinky. You can ask for extras, they know you’ll give a few away. Maybe I shouldn’t say, but I’ve got about 400 of them.”
“It’s safe to say there’s very little sex going on during the Tour de France, if any. Coaches and team directors would prefer you didn’t have sex all year.”
To read the interview in its entirety on your Kindle App, Kindle Fire or Kindle Touch, click below.
*Or read the interview with access to all Playboy interviews on iPlayboy.*