Armstrong, awhose recovery and unprecedented success in one of the most grueling events in sports won him fans worldwide, insists this was his last Tour.
But even as he basked in the glow of victory Sunday, Armstrong said, "I'm sorry you can't dream big. And I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles. But this is one hell of a race. This is a great sporting event. And you should stand around and believe. You should believe in these athletes and you should believe in these people."
On The Early Show Monday, Armstrong
"But I suppose it was inevitable when you consider what the sport has been through the last ten years. (They'd think), 'The guy that comes back the year after the biggest doping scandal in the history of sports. Lo and behold. He's a cancer survivor, and he not only won it once, but he broke the record and won it seven times.'
"I understand, but it's not right. And, while you don't want to necessarily put the light on the negative aspect of it, I felt like I had to. And I felt like that was my last opportunity. I can't hold a press conference in a month and say, 'Hey you guys, shame on you for not dreaming.' So that was my chance. I just said. 'Take a good look at this face, because you're never gonna see it again.' "
Armstrong told Smith the accusations and whispers "made me angry. Of course. Nobody wants to hear that. If you're a singer, nobody wants to say that's not you singing on the record. If you're a journalist, you don't want them to say you didn't write that story, your sources are made up. Who are they? Nobody wants to be called like that."