The whole world is just now catching up with the drama and controversy surrounding professional cycling and doping. I have been an fan of professional cycling for over a decade and just finished “The Secret Race” by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. I am by NO MEANS an expert on cycling or doping, just your average fan. So here are my measly 2 cents and my opinions.
I was going to wait until after “THE INTERVIEW” to post on the subject, but I thought it might be interesting to post prior to Lance’s interview and then again after the interview. So here we go, next week I might be recanting this whole post, but that is the risk I am willing to take. It wouldn’t be the first time I had stuck my foot in my mouth!
Lance doped, NO SHIT! If you have spent any time following cycling, you know that doping and bike racing go hand in hand. It even happens at the amateur level. But guess what, so does most of the peleton (or professional cyclists). They have been getting popped right and left for over a decade. Lance was just better at paying off officials, getting around the tests and having better doctors than the UCI. The sad fact is, if one guy dopes, the rest have to dope in order to be competitive. Long stage bike racing (more than 3 days) is a team sport, you need your team to be the strongest. If you are leading a team, you want your team to be the strongest because if you don’t win in bike racing, you loose sponsors. You loose sponsors, you can loose your team and a lot of people can be out of jobs.
It isn’t as simple as one guy wanting to win at all costs. That being said, it is not right. It is not healthy and it has tarnished the sport I love. It isn’t right to lie. It isn’t fair to teams and riders that can’t afford to have the same chemical enhancements and dirty doctors. It isn’t fair to a young new cyclist who get roped into doping in order to keep their dream alive and save their job and future.
That doesn’t mean that these men are not terrific athletes. I mean let’s think about this, the Tour de France is 3 weeks or about 21 days with only 2 rest days and covers 3,200 kilometres or 2,000 mi. The average pace is between 24 and 25 mph. They are amazing and compete in one of the hardest races in the world.
Lance is many things. He has raised a lot of money for cancer. He brought interest to cycling, many people can only name one professional cyclist, Lance. Lance is a bully and liar. Lance is a phenomenal athlete. Lance is a doper and introduced doping to many other teammates. Lance is looking to save face and Oprah is trying to save her network. A perfect marriage.
What is your 2 cents and do you follow pro cycling? I would like to see the perspective of those who really follow cycling vs. the folks who don’t.