Local cyclists react to reports of Lance Armstrong admitting to doping

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- After years of being known as a world-class athlete, the past few months for Lance Armstrong have been more about denying what many cycling fans felt to be true.

"Everyone kind of knew he lied at that point and for him to continue on with it was just a slap in people's face," said Kevin Miller, who works for Landis Cyclery in Tempe.

He said the announcement of evidence showing Armstrong had doped, then his denial and now reports that he may admit to something in an interview with Oprah Winfrey is exhausting.

"Yeah, it just needs to go away, it needs to be done," Miller said.

Crisis communication expert Anne Robertson thinks the sitdown is a long time coming.

"If somebody, a business or a celebrity, doesn't come forward right away, they think that the situation will go away if they ignore it and maybe he's realize that situation doesn't go away, it gets worse with the 24/7 news cycle and social media," Robertson said.

Word is that Armstrong may do a mea culpa to save his Livestrong charity or to continue his cycling career. Robertson said the only way to come out on top is to be real.

"It has to seem painful to him, that it's hard for him to do this," she said. "If it comes across as too scripted and it doesn't come across as truly remorseful it will fall flat."

And fans like Miller expect nothing less.

"I think it's a good choice on his behalf," Miller said. "I think he owes a lot of people an explanation and apologies."

The interview with Oprah will air Thursday at 9 p.m. on the OWN Network.