Competitive bike racing is irrelevant in the US ... Armstrong has helped his causes, but the same can be said of many other people and it isn't a reason to excuse him. The current main sponsor of the US Team, Radio Shack, isn't exactly doing well. Bike racing has had a bad doping image for years and this may kill off high level US sponsorship for some time.
Sport is fine and I don't have any problem with sponsorships - but I'd much rather have the average US cyclist being someone who doesn't care much about bikes, but uses them for regular transportation than someone who sees their bikes as recreational toys.
And this from an onion-like publication in the UK