During his televised interview last month with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong expressed contrition for doping during his cycling career and for bullying those who tried to expose him.
But on Strava, a social network that lets athletes of all levels challenge each other, Armstrong appears unbowed. Armstrong's Strava page bears in the profile-photograph space the image of a cannon above the words, "Come and Take It." His one-line Strava biography: "According to my rivals, peers, and teammates I won the Tour de France 7 times." Since his Oprah appearance, Armstrong has continued updating the page. He couldn't be reached for comment for this story.
That unapologetic posture may be classic Armstrong, who described himself to Winfrey as a cyclist who at times wouldn't let rules, common courtesy or physical pain get in the way of winning.
But it also reflects the free-spirited ethos of Strava, a website devoted to competing outside organized-race lines. Users of Strava compete without bibs, registration fees, starting guns, doping protocols, referees, podiums or course maps. Like kids fashioning games out of neighborhood landmarks—Who can run fastest from the Big Tree to Gregory's garage?—Strava users can turn any stretch of road or path into a racetrack by employing the company's GPS-powered app to time their performance, then uploading it onto the website.