The Giro is wrapping up this week, and what should be a celebration of the sport, is ending up as just another ring in a circus. It seems that the PRO ranks have hit a bit of rough spot, and while April is the supposed to be thehttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-20064406-10391709.html?tag=stack ,cruelest month, May is turning out to be douse as well. Sadly, this months cruelty is coming from the seemingly never ending story of Lance Armstrong and doping and all its related controversies. Including clear conflicts of interests, Dopers hoping to redeem themselves and back stab worth of Shakespearean drama (Etu Big George?). Not to mention the fact that what was supposed to be an exciting race, a race of attrition, has just become another sure thing with one rider dominating everyone.
The month started off with the death of Wouter Weylandt while he was descending from Passo Del Bocco. His death was followed by the tragic death of Xavier Tondo in a “domestic accident”. Sadly, Xavier was one of few cyclist who were willing to stand up and do something to clean up the sport he love.
Which brings us to the latest round of revelations, denials and general freak show that is the Lance Armstrong drama.
Last week Tyler Hamilton finally came clean (to 60 minutes no less!), about what everyone already knew. He was cheater. Tlyer’s interview went well beyond coming out about his past, because, well no one would care if that was the end of the story. Nope, Tyler, like Floyd the year before also implicated LA as well. Saying that he saw Lance shoot EPO with his very own eyes. (Sub question: Why do they wait till the Tour of California?) Along with this bombshell came a second volley. Hamilton claims that Armstrong was caught, but managed to massage his way out of it by making a “donation” to the UCI, who of course deny the story.
For his part, Lance stuck to the talking points, with his “most tested athlete of all time” defense. Then he fell silent a day later when CBS let fly that Big George Hincapie told a grand jury that he and Armstrong supplied each other with EPO. In a stunning bit of foresight I had told a fiend the day before that it was going to take someone like George stepping up. It needs to noted that George denies talking to 60 minutes, and more importantly, that the story is UN-SOURCED! Though I have to admit to jumping on this and retweeting the hell out of it. My bad. When asked Hincapie expressed his wish to just move forward and stop focusing on the past.
Here’s the rub.
PRO cycling needs to deal with its recent past in order to fix its future. The sport has to deal with the fact that it recent “greatest champion” is a fraud. I know that seems like a harsh word, and people I respect are choosing to see things differently, I believe that all his good works are based on a lie. To me, that would matter, but that’s just me.
What’s a cycling fan to do? Honestly all this shit has got me feeling a bit down (don’t worry, its not just this, I’ve got other things going on as a well), and Tyler, then Floyd getting busted ruined the sport for me. Now I’m back, and I’m not going to let the dopers get me down. I’m not going to let the fact that Contador maybe able to keep riding through July ruin my love this sport. At its core, this sport is about me, and learning about myself through racing and riding long stretches of new roads. That’s what is about. That’s what it should be about for everyone.