Lance Armstrong Crushes Multi-day Oprah Confessional, Raises Questions About Interview Doping, Etc.

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Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong may have been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, but on Monday, the athlete had another chance to prove himself in a grueling test of will, athleticism (if you count resisting to cry as athletic), and strength in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that is being billed as a doping-scandal confessional.

Last week, we wondered how the media empress would treat Armstrong during the sit-down, which was originally scheduled to air as a 90-minute episode ofOprah’s Next Chapter on Thursday—especially considering how much Winfrey has supported Armstrong, his Livestrong foundation, and his mother’s Texas guacamole recipe over the years. And while we don’t quite have that answer yet, Oprah has already given the world beaucoup d’insight into a Q&A that was so sprawling that producers decided to split it into a two-day television event on Thursday and Friday.

Approximately 17 hours ago, according to Oprah’s Twitter feed, Winfrey concluded the conversation at Armstong’s Austin, Texas, home with this seemingly impressed post-game analysis: “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!” (He had, we noted on Monday, prepared with cardio and a team of lawyers and advisers.)

While Armstrong’s Twitter feed remained silent, Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning, co-hosted by her best friend, Gayle King, to furnish more details in a network teaser. Among the details we’ve gleaned: Winfrey prepared more than 110 questions for the interview. “There were times” when Armstrong became emotional. And according to TMZ’s suggestive wording, the pair left the interview “exhausted and satisfied.”

Although Lance “did not come clean in the manner I had expected,” Oprah maintained that she and her crew were “mesmerized and riveted” by some of his answers. “I thought that he was serious. I would say that he met the moment,” she said, adding, “I think the most important questions and answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered.”

The television event begins on Thursday at nine p.m. E.T. on the Oprah Winfrey Network.