If you believe all top competitive cyclists dope. Will you still watch the Tour?

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Jun 13, 2009
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byu123 said:
If you believe all top competitive cyclists dope. Will you still watch the Tour?

If so why?

..... Seems very illogical . . . here as a fan of competitive cycling yet you believe all top competitive cyclists and their accomplishments are bogus . . . .
Define Top ...

Are we talking;

Top 3?
Top5?
Top 50?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Slight OT, but those who watched cycling in the 80's and saw Fignon race, do you think less of Fignon now for admitting to taking drugs when he raced? If not, why?
He tested positive for amphetamines in the late 1980s.

I always guessed a lot of them were on something since that was my experience in sports. It started out with just a few using stimulants or diuretics when I was in my mid-teens and got more widespread and steroidy as I got older.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I'll watch because cycling is simply the most beautiful sport in the world.
The spectacle, the colour, the sound, the scenery, the people, the sporting endeavours, the tactics, the stories inside stories.
It has everything a sport needs and then some.
I also love to watch men do what I dream I could do on my bike. When you've ridden for sometime you get a real sense of just how hard these guys are working (doped or not) and the chess game they play second by second.

Just take it for what it is. A group of very talented sports people entertaining us with some incredible feats of human endurance.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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dimspace said:
i shall still watch every stage live on tv or on sky+, watch the friday stage from the hotel room, the ventoux stage from a parisien bar, and the final day from the comfort of a chair on champs elysees...

doping, not doping, etc etc. its still the greatest sporting event in the world..
So yuor saying if most people dope you don't care because the race is still great. Yes the race will be great but it has to be improved. It's not right to say it's great but cheats compete in it but it's still great. please explain the logic in that comment to me...
 
Jun 16, 2009
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boalio said:
exactly. i will watch every single stage. why? because its amazing. whether they dope or not these athletes are still incredible. there is no other sporting event in the world that is such a display of extreme athletics (imagine running the boston marathon every day for 3 weeks?!). Add in to that the huge amount of tactical skill, and politics.

i wonder sometimes if the people who say that doping ruins the enjoyment of the sport for them really understand the sport.
doping does ruin it for some people. So they don't understand the sport because doping is cycling. i think that is wrong. Lets not do anything about doping and let all of them dope. I will always follow the sport because it's my passion and i believe that some top riders play fair and put the hard work in.
 
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Mellow Velo said:
This is a common forum question, to which, there isn't a "one size fits all" answer.
For a start, the question of doping isn't the property of the supposedly "obssessive". The Apologists seem equally keen to set up endless, often pointless threads on the topic, then have the gall to complain about all the talk!

Fact is, there are many levels of racing, below the Tour, so for some of us, it's just another race. Bigger than the rest, maybe, but just another race.

I follow the sport through it's trials, tribulations and excitement 365 days of the year, not just for three weeks every July.

I've seen a lot of ardent fans, come and go, unable to deal with the regular deflation of discovering that favourite riders/teams have been doping. The hurt has overwhelmed them.

These are the people, who were deluded, yet wise enough to accept the reality of the true situation at the top of our sport when the evidence started to pile up.
What they could not accept, was that cheating is somehow acceptable, providing you can do it and remain undetected.
They won't be watching the Tour.


For those of us who watch, but continue to take a high moral stance against cheating, it is because we constantly strive to improve the future, while being tough enough to accept the bitter truth.
Similar, in fact, to the new young riders within the peloton, who now speak out, with the same voice.

We cannot eradicate doping, but we can change the climate that condones it's practice, hopefully enlightening a few apologists along the way.
Fantastic post Mellow, I agree completely.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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I'm not naive enough to think that none of the top guys are doping but there seems to be a distinct difference between the guys like Evans, Sastre and the Schlecks at last year's Tour than Ricco & Sella in the Giro and Ricco in the Tour. In the Giro mountain stages Sella pretty much just rode them day after day without getting tired. Similarly in the Tour it seemed as if Ricco could win every mountain stage he liked - the one he didn't win was because he said he was going to let Piepoli win.
I don't know if it's a situation that they were more doped up than the rest but I do feel that all the top contendors are pretty much on a level playing field at the moment.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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byu123 said:
If so why?

You are here presumably here because you are a fan of cycling. If you take the position, as many here do, that all top contenders now and in the past were dopers and moreoever anyone who wins in 2009 must surely also be a doper . . . why would you even watch the Tour or any other major race for that matter?

If your position is "ahhh they (top cyclists) are all a bunch of dopers . . . period". Then why are you at "cyclingnews" as opposed to just riding your bike for your own enjoyment? Your here seeking "news" on a topic, competitiv cycling, in which you are convinced is all based on lies, deceit, and only cheaters win.

I'm just trying to understand the logic in the many so called "cycling fanatics/fans/experts/former pros" etc which come here as putative fans of competitive cyclying yet a) believe all top cyclists dope and b) someone winning clean is just not possible.

Seriously, why are you "seasoned cyclists" who are convinced top riders dope even here? Why are you going to even watch the Tour if that's what you believe. If your not going to watch the Tour, aguably the premier event in competitive cycling, why are you frequenting a blog ("cyclingnews") about a topic which you believe is rife with fraud and you are boycotting watching the premier event because its all a fraud???

Just trying to figure out some of the seemingly irrational hatred/spite you sense among many. I don't get it. Seems very illogical . . . here as a fan of competitive cycling yet you believe all top competitive cyclists and their accomplishments are bogus . . . .
Firstly, I continue to the follow cycling at all levels as I love the sport.

And yes I will watch most of the Tour - although I will not be following with the same raw enthusiasm as I did some years ago.

However, I am going to object to the tone of your original post - there is only one person on this forum that believes all riders are 'jacked' up.
Many others believe - as I do - that there is a significant number still using PEDs - to try and say how many is just pure speculation.

Seriously, why are you "seasoned cyclists" who are convinced top riders dope even here?
I have been always passionate of this sport and I believe there are many good people within the cycling community trying to fight the scourge of doping.
Even yesterday - B. Kohls interview suggests that because of tightening controls he was forced to purchase a centrifuge and limit significantly what he was using during the Tour (and he still got caught), so I believe the gap between the doper and the tester has narrowed

You commented on another thread that you are new to the sport- that you were introduced to it by following the career of a rider (LA)- most of us here on this forum were introduced the same way.
You also do not believe the 6 tests returned by LA in 1999 contained EPO - you are entitled to your opinion, as are those who believe it is significant evidence to his guilt - this is not a court of Law - it is a cycling forum.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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I watch, but I acknowledge that there is cheating, has been cheating, and probably always will be cheating in pro cycling (and in every other pro sport). It's spy versus spy these days with the cheaters and the testers leap frogging each other in a highly publicized "arms race". It will continue no doubt for some time until one side achieves a significant advantage or the sport changes its rules.

If pro cycling self-destructs because of doping, I would miss it, but would simply find something else to occupy me in my free time. From the spectator's point of view, pro cycling is nothing more than an entertainment product designed for our consumption, and competing with other products like motorsport or baseball or your favorite TV show. Organizers and sponsors want to produce a show that will entice as many people to watch as possible. We decide to watch or not based on how compelling the product is. That is the extent of our relationship with pro cycling. We can pay attention or not.

By the way, if pro cycling's target audience was strictly other cyclists, it would have perished a long time ago. They want everyone to watch, especially those Americans who know nothing of cycling except he-who-shall-not-be-named.

Watching pro cycling from your sofa is not the same thing as riding a bike. In fact, the two experiences have almost nothing to do with each other. Riding a bike can be a transcendental experience. Many have waxed poetically here about the experience of riding/racing, and I wholeheartedly agree. I had an incredible experience Saturday on our club ride: off the front for 12 miles, caught and suffered in the pack for 10 miles, dropped and chased for 10 miles, then back in the pack at the water stop, felt better, started turning the screws down on my "friends" for the final 30 miles as they dropped off the back one by one, and finally finished at the front with a few survivors. I suffered like a dog and went through the extreme of every conceivable emotion , all over the course of 3 hours. That's cycling!

With all due respect, watching the TDF doesn't come close. So, if pro cycling implodes because it cannot figure out how to manage its doping issues, c'est la vie, as they say. There's always F1, or baseball, or a good boxing match to distract and entertain. Bicycling will survive with or without slick TV shows featuring millionaires perched atop exotic equipment.

Regardless, I will be back out there getting my fix of euphoria and endorphins next Saturday. That's what's great about cycling: you don't have to be a pro to get the emotional and spiritual benefit.

I'd rather ride than watch people ride. Pro cycling is just a show.
 
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gjdavis60 said:
They want everyone to watch, especially those Americans who know nothing of cycling except he-who-shall-not-be-named.
There is ample evidence right here on this forum that they have been very successful in this.

gjdavis60 said:
Watching pro cycling from your sofa is not the same thing as riding a bike. In fact, the two experiences have almost nothing to do with each other. Riding a bike can be a transcendental experience. Many have waxed poetically here about the experience of riding/racing, and I wholeheartedly agree. I had an incredible experience Saturday on our club ride: off the front for 12 miles, caught and suffered in the pack for 10 miles, dropped and chased for 10 miles, then back in the pack at the water stop, felt better, started turning the screws down on my "friends" for the final 30 miles as they dropped off the back one by one, and finally finished at the front with a few survivors. I suffered like a dog and went through the extreme of every conceivable emotion , all over the course of 3 hours. That's cycling!

With all due respect, watching the TDF doesn't come close. So, if pro cycling implodes because it cannot figure out how to manage its doping issues, c'est la vie, as they say. There's always F1, or baseball, or a good boxing match to distract and entertain. Bicycling will survive with or without slick TV shows featuring millionaires perched atop exotic equipment.

Regardless, I will be back out there getting my fix of euphoria and endorphins next Saturday. That's what's great about cycling: you don't have to be a pro to get the emotional and spiritual benefit.

I'd rather ride than watch people ride. Pro cycling is just a show.
Nice description, and I agree completely.
 
Mellow Velo said:
For those of us who watch, but continue to take a high moral stance against cheating, it is because we constantly strive to improve the future, while being tough enough to accept the bitter truth.
Similar, in fact, to the new young riders within the peloton, who now speak out, with the same voice.

We cannot eradicate doping, but we can change the climate that condones it's practice, hopefully enlightening a few apologists along the way.
I like this answer.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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davidg said:
Yes it is a fair question, but sadly Thoughtforfood, BikeCentric and Brodeal got so excited about trying to doubleguess byu123's pysche that they forgot to answer the question. Nevermind, he only has 72 posts, so can't possibly have an opinion as relevant as their hundreds of posts (mostly about the same topic) that you three have.

So how about it, why don't you answer his question, or are you afraid that it might incriminate your views.

I will wait for you to bait me and put it down to inexperience, but can't say I really give a ***.

So my answer is yes, because I still enjoy it. When they are attacking and hurting (yes it still hurts them), I know what it is like because I race and it hurts me too. I have stood on the side of the road and watched the Tour and all its grandness, I know how hard it is to TT for an hour, or to race up a mountain. Yes it is a different level but that doesn't matter. Oh and I like the scenery too.

So are you going to answer the question or just make up some opinion about me too?
Sure I'll answer the question, but it's a stupid question and the answer is self-evident. The reason I'm still a cycling fan and racer after 10 years is because I love the sport. I think most pros are doped yes, but that doesn't mean cycling is NOT still a great sport and a great spectacle. I personally think it would be better if it were cleaner but whatever, I'm just one person.

Oh and one other thing: all the pros are incredibly talented athletes whether or not they dope. I've raced against guys who went pro a number of times and the difference in talent of these guys is head and shoulders above the rest of the amateur bunch. They show up and upgrade to Cat 2 in 3 or 4 months, stomping the **** out of everyone in their path.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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gjdavis60 said:
I'd rather ride than watch people ride. Pro cycling is just a show.
Agreed. I think amateur racing and club riding is the true heart of the sport, not pro cycling.
 
Yeah I think all racers have always doped. They did when I raced. It wasn't always a drug like EPO or steroids. Sometimes it was whatever we could get, like caffeine.

You should read interviews of former pro riders who are no longer associated with the bicycle industry. Alexi Grewal fairly recently gave an an incredibly honest interview about the use of performance enhancing drugs back when he was racing.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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I will still watch and follow all cycling events because I love the sport. People are still racing hard doped or undoped. I only get frustrated show up out of nowhere and stomp everyone. If your gonna dope at least have some common sense and maybe not win every mountain stage by breaking away after the nuetral start. Stay with the leaders and attack near the finish so we can still see a race and not a superhero type landis or sella solo.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Hey, it's a legitimate question. I'm having more and more trouble enjoying the sport. My favourite race is Paris-Roubaix and all the time Boonen was riding away from Pozzato I was thinking "Is he doped? Can a clean rider do what he's doing? What can I say, it sucks. I find myself going to the ff button on my dvr during the Tour more and more, when a few years ago I was glued to the screen. And before someone posts that I'm not a real fan, I've been riding and watching races for almost 40yrs. The first race I saw live was Merckx himself winning the worlds at Montreal in '74.
I guess all I can say is what I said to myself after the mess of the 07 Tour- I still watch because unlike Baseball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, basketball, track & field, swimming, and every other sport including mixed doubles nose-picking for all I know, cycling is at least trying. And that'll do for now.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I would absoutely still watch the Tour if all of the riders were doping. I appreciate the tremendous effort and suffering the riders go through regardless of what there haematocrit is. Take Riis for example, was he a lazy rider that was able to win ONLY because of EPO or was he an ultra hard working super tough ba$tard who worked inhumanly hard to achieve what he did?

In fact in my view it would be just as interesting to see riders fully doped as would be to see them on bread and water. Lots went on in the 90s and that was a sweet and golden age of cycling IMHO - all of riders were fully doped using similar techniques while today it is a total mess with some doped well and others not and thats NOT fair.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
The only reasonable conclusion is that a careful doper can get away with it for a very long time, an entire career, without getting caught.

I will also add that a part of me desperately wants to believe that Lance Armstrong is some kind of exception to all this. That he really is clean, and has always been clean. But his words and actions simply are not consistent with that theory. From the '99 allegations, to the guilt of so many of his past teammates (Andreu, Heras, Beltran, Hamliton, Landis); from his association with Ferrari to his strict adherence to the code of silence, and outrage with those who violate it, it all adds up to d.o.p.e.r. Sadly.
The funny thing is he is not on the list, yet he has been caught 3 times (Epo in 99, Cortison in 99, not allowing to be controlled in France this year)....

Is his power soooo big to even control the internet? I hope more and more pipo find out the truth behind Epo-Lance. A very good start is the book "From Lance to Landis".
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Win the Tour completely clean? Not possible at this time, IMO. I've been around too long, the numbers are way too high, and I've been acquainted with some that were close enough to share some pretty valid stories. But unlike BigBoat and a few others I often agree with, I do think there are riders in the Tour who are quite possibly clean (white side of gray). They just don't finish very high up. And I also think the sport is cleaner than it was a few years ago.

As to Lemond, he rode in an era when the pendulum of the sport had swung to the fairly clean side, and doping didn't give the huge gains they did in recent times, so I do believe he was possibly clean his entire career. But it also wouldn't shock me if he was given corticosteroid shots, or even ephedrine based medicine, whether he knew what they were or not, most likely during the early of his career.
There is no reason why i should not believe Willy Voet. He wrote in his book the only rider he knew totally clean was Charly Mottet. He finished 4th in the TdF. May he would have won the Tour, at least if he would have gone to Placebos.

Bassons at least could stay in the Pro-Peloton totally clean. Imagine he was in the High-Epo-Era. Sad enough Armstrong kicked him out of cycling. So my opinion is, you could win the TdF clean until Epo came up. Maybe even today, if you give your top rider placebos. I think this is the best doping out there (ok maybe Epo and Extra-Blood are too powerfull, i dont know; a Placebo-Clinical-Study should be run).

I watch cycling because i want to see the best of the best.If i want to see (just Above-)Avg. sports, i watch myself playing tennis, billiards, football etc. :). And here also lays the problem: I`d rather like to see the best vs. the best slug it out pure/clean.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Slight OT, but those who watched cycling in the 80's and saw Fignon race, do you think less of Fignon now for admitting to taking drugs when he raced? If not, why?
Actually i think more of him now, because he did not ride on extra blood (and Epo was not existing). My opinion is all the other stuff dont work. You can call me naive, but its not only me saying this: Paul Koechli the coach of Lemonds team in the 80s also believed that drugs dont work. A perfect example is Virenque. Willy Voet had a good story about him: Virenque was coming to him with a "new super drug" and asked for injection. Willy did not trust this drug so he gave him a pure water injection. He then said Virenque drove the race of his life (it was all placebo what made Virenque strong that certain day) :)
I think if young riders are coached by brave men, they could ride clean. I dont think its unethical to give placebos.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Actually i think more of him now, because he did not ride on extra blood (and Epo was not existing). My opinion is all the other stuff dont work. You can call me naive, but its not only me saying this: Paul Koechli the coach of Lemonds team in the 80s also believed that drugs dont work. A perfect example is Virenque. Willy Voet had a good story about him: Virenque was coming to him with a "new super drug" and asked for injection. Willy did not trust this drug so he gave him a pure water injection. He then said Virenque drove the race of his life (it was all placebo what made Virenque strong that certain day) :)
I think if young riders are coached by brave men, they could ride clean. I dont think its unethical to give placebos.
If I remember correctly, Frigo had a similar case in the Giro de Italia where he was being given some "blank" pills. He was riding strong believing that it was dope.

Remember that? Maybe somebody on this side of the fence can help me with the details.
 

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