A high point of the interview came when the 45-year-old disgraced former professional cyclist talked to Stern about his relationship with singer Sheryl Crow 10 years ago — calling their time together “a good ride.”
“She’s a great lady. Obviously it didn’t work out, but I think and I hope she’s happy. I’m happy,” he shared of ending their five-month engagement in February 2006. “It’s tough to pull it off. I mean, how many couples have been able to pull it off? To her credit, she was a stay-at-home—one of the biggest rock stars—she was a great partner. She was at the races…it wasn’t like we never saw each other.”
The now 55-year-old artist began dating Armstrong in 2003 and the couple announced their engagement in September 2005, before splitting only months later in February 2006.
“I watched the Grammys the other day … and we were like presenters at the Grammys,” he said. “And at the time, I was like, ‘I’ve got to go do what?’ ”
Armstrong, who was banned from the sport of cycling after he admitted to doping in a 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey, says the now infamous conversation was “too soon for a lot of people.”
“And too detailed and too shocking for a lot of people,” he added. “The reason I decided to sit with her is because I had an existing relationship with her and I like Oprah and I trust her, but I knew I was going to get sued. When the report came out and they striped the titles, I f–king knew they were lining up.”
But, Armstrong says it “had to happen.”
“I left there feeling wow this is pretty good and the reaction was brutal,” he said.
In the aftermath of the 2013 interview, Armstrong quit biking — and worried about how his children would react to the scandal.
FROM COINAGE: These Athletes Are Only Getting Richer After Leaving the Field
“That’s not a one-time conversation. The older kids were old enough to kind of live it with me and there was that conversation and there was therapy,” said Armstrong, a father of five. “There was work. It’s a process.”
But in the past few months, though, Armstrong has returned to the sport.
“For three or four years, I hated cycling because of what my life has looked like for the last four or five years,” he said. “Just like with any kind of breakup, there are hard feelings.”