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On the fence - an LA thread

Apr 3, 2009
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Over the past half year I’ve read a lot of the threads on this particular spot of the forum with great interest as it pertains to Lance. As someone who discovered the sport of cycling through him, his exploits have always had a special place for me and his battle to return to a sport where no one wanted him inspired me in a situation I went through in grad school.

As I said I discovered the sport of cycling through him, prior to 2004 I had heard of him, the Tour de France and Greg LeMond but never took an interest. In fact it had been close to ten years since I had regularly ridden a mountain bike. Then one July day I saw the finish of stage 17 where Lance came from behind and beat Kloden to the line. From that moment I was hooked. I’d played little league (not very well) and followed the Red Sox, but I knew I could ride a bike, but I didn’t know they could be ridden like that. I got It’s Not About The Bike and became a fan and lucky for me my uncle owns a bike shop so I was able to get into the sport at a cost that was a bit less than it would have been for someone else.

So by now you might be asking yourself, okay so what is the point of this? Well I’ve noticed that the Lance camps on here are divided between those who dislike and believe he doped and those who go beyond the fanboy mentality. I’m curious if there are any on the fence Lance fans? As someone who grew to love the sport beyond just one rider I’d categorize myself as being on the fence. Now I’ve seen all the pro Lance material and read the books. I’ve also read the Ashenden Interview and read what Betsy Andreu has stated. I’d like to think that I’ve been presented with as much evidence as is possible and because as an archaeologist I was trained to look at the facts and from there come to a conclusion that I would be able to. However I still can’t decide, maybe part of me doesn’t want to come to a decision.

And in reading the Ashenden interview on NYVelocity I got to wondering was there ever any background on why Damien Ressiot from L’Equipe was doing the article and needed Lance’s dope control test results? I guess for me I’d like to know what came first the tests or the original article. What was the intent of the article as originally intended? And maybe this will never be known now. The point I’ve read both here and I believe in the Ashenden Interview being that the lab didn’t know whose urine they were testing, but if the reporter got the test results back first he could have passed that information along.

And of course there is the argument that if everyone else was doing it, was it cheating. This point I know has been brought up as well as the argument that EPO wasn't banned back then. This is similiar to the arguments for & against both Barry Bonds & Mark Mcgwire in relation to the home run record and Major League Baseball's abysmal stance on doping and PEDs.

The other thing I keep coming back to and correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Floyd mention something about USADA asking him about Lance. Now we’ve seen that Floyd was apparently willing to do anything to win his case so if he had knowledge of team doping practices why wouldn’t he have given it up for a reduced sentence? Do you think it was the belief that had he done it he would not have been allowed back in to the sport? Why then wouldn't Floyd or anyone else formerly associated with Postal/ Disco have said something? Did they really fear him or owe him some form of loyalty after they left the team?

I know a lot of folks will call me ignorant or a naïve fanboy because of the ’99 retesting and evidence presented by a lot of people. But I guess as things stand now I am on the fence about Lance and was wondering how many others out there are on the fence as well?

p.s. And as someone who in their teens voraciously read anything Marvel Comics put out I do know the definition of a fanboy , which is why I’d argue that I am not one. At least not anymore.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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cawright1375 said:
The other thing I keep coming back to and correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Floyd mention something about USADA asking him about Lance. Now we’ve seen that Floyd was apparently willing to do anything to win his case so if he had knowledge of team doping practices why wouldn’t he have given it up for a reduced sentence? Do you think it was the belief that had he done it he would not have been allowed back in to the sport? Why then wouldn't Floyd or anyone else formerly associated with Postal/ Disco have said something? Did they really fear him or owe him some form of loyalty after they left the team?

Floyd has always protested his innocence so why would he say he had been involved in doping or a team that doped?
 
Jul 19, 2009
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cawright1375 said:
And in reading the Ashenden interview on NYVelocity I got to wondering was there ever any background on why Damien Ressiot from L’Equipe was doing the article and needed Lance’s dope control test results? I guess for me I’d like to know what came first the tests or the original article. What was the intent of the article as originally intended? And maybe this will never be known now. The point I’ve read both here and I believe in the Ashenden Interview being that the lab didn’t know whose urine they were testing, but if the reporter got the test results back first he could have passed that information along.
Are you suggesting that the lab spiked the samples?
Why ? Did you read Ashenden's points about spiking samples?

If they could have spiked his 99 samples why would Lance come back and trust them for his 2009 samples? Why didn't he launch his marvelous and uncredible personal antidoping program called L'Arlesienne?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Can't say that I'm on the fence. More like I'm indifferent.

When Lance was making his comeback, it was a compelling story. I remember think as he racing in Philly in 98(?) and he broke away with a few laps left, wouldn't it be nice if he was able to win. Unfortunately, they caught him on the last lap and he came in fourth. I went to the TdF in 99 and saw Commesso win stage 13 in Albi and thought, gee it's nice to see an American in yellow. I thought it would be the only time I'd see the tour. Been back several times since, and have cheered quite a number of racers.

As for the doping, I don't really care if he did or not. It is technically possible to spike the samples, but extremely difficult to break the blind. The bottom line is more likely than not that he did. But, again, I don't care. It doesn't take away from the fact that I've spent a year in Paris, and have been to the tour multiple times. Each time enjoying myself and the atmosphere that it creates. From walking through the towns during the finish, to sitting along the road with a blanket, baguette, bottle of wine, and some cheese, enjoying the race old school. I've met a lot of nice people along the way and have many fond memories.

Finally, Lance as a person. When LA was young, he was a cocky little sh!t. When he got sick, his attitude seemed to change and he became humbled. This, coupled with a compelling story made me cheer for the guy. As his success grew, he seemed to morph back into the *ss he was when he was younger. So, take him, leave him, I don't care. I wouldn't go out of my way to see him, but I wouldn't avoid something just because he was there either.

At the end of the day, it's not about Lance, it's about me.
 
Apr 3, 2009
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RTMcFadden said:
Finally, Lance as a person. When LA was young, he was a cocky little sh!t. When he got sick, his attitude seemed to change and he became humbled. This, coupled with a compelling story made me cheer for the guy. As his success grew, he seemed to morph back into the *ss he was when he was younger. So, take him, leave him, I don't care. I wouldn't go out of my way to see him, but I wouldn't avoid something just because he was there either.

At the end of the day, it's not about Lance, it's about me.

I've been rewatching the 1999 Tour and I was struck by how humble he appears. Perhaps he really didn't believe he could win the race, but he genuinely seems taken aback and at a loss for words. This of course in stark contrast to last year.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I am not on the fence, but I do see both good and bad in the man and am not passionate enough to be labeled a Lance hater. The good is a much shorter list than the bad, but he was inspiring especially back when he made his first comeback following cancer, he is a very good cyclist, he is very competitive and has a winner attitude, and he does do some good work for cancer awareness. However, the bad includes that I have no doubt he was and continues to be a doper, that his wins and reputation are ill gotten, and he now uses cancer and cancer awareness to make money for himself.

Ressiot's exposure of Lance was a fine piece of investigative journalism. Was he intending to target Lance? Probably. And why not? Here is a classics and one day rider stricken down by cancer and returns to win the biggest stage race in the world. This scenario smells as fishy as it can get. And that's what investigative journalists do - they follow a lead and see where it goes. I rate the chances that Lance's samples were spiked as miniscule considering that Ashenden and his researchers did not know which lab numbers corresponded to which riders. And this is not the only evidence of Lance's doping. There is the conversation between Vaughters and Andreau, there is the conversation between Lance and his doctor over heard by the Andreaus, there is Lance's masseuse and her confessions, and there is the recent blood work in week 3 of the TdF which is indicative of blood doping.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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cawright,

a piece of advice and i dont mean it condescendingly or paternalistic.

read, really study vrigman all 132 pages. many dismiss it because it was the uci ordered political piece targeting to white wash la and the uci. it was but i dont dismiss it because vrijman documented many interesting and valuable iterations and a time line. it was an uci agenda driven piece but very professionally done.

you probably would not ask half of your questions if you read the vrijman report.
 
Jan 30, 2010
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I'm also indifferent here, not on the fence tho about Armstrong, but an indifferent opinion of what he has done to the sport.

I am interested in Armstrong's comeback and what he can do, and like a few others, I couldn't really care less if he doped or not in 1999. Just look at the riders who finished in the top 10 in Armstrong's wins and you soon realise that if he doped, who do we award the unofficial win to? the guy sitting 2nd, 3rd, or 8th or 9th?

I say, accept the past of cycling's dark history, and focus on the brighter future.

It is interesting that the passion created around the Armstrong discussion is not as prevalent for riders like Indurain or Contador. let's face it, in this sport, you can't watch it and not have that thought in the back of your mind that tommorrow when you read the news, your favourite rider is revealed as a doper.

I re-read a thread about doping and past GT winners, and the conclusion was that Lemond was the last clean winner?!? That's concerning to me for two reasons. One, that people really do think everyone is doping. Two, the majority of the discussion is about one rider called Armstrong. It is interesting to note on this forum that no-one does even remotely a similar analysis about the other 'dopers' than they do about Armstrong. If you genuinely believe that all GT winners are dopers, then why not pick-apart all the details about Contador's, Valverde'ss, Sastre's, menchov's pasts?? There is some discussion about these riders, but not even remotely close to the amount wasted on Armstrong, who we are pretty certain of anyway. Wouldn't it be more interesting to discuss the riders we have limited information on?

I do not support doping, but I see little point in obsessing over what Armstrong did over a decade ago. Everyone has accepted Indurain's doping, and I suspect, that if a rider like Contador continues to win the Tour, everyone will accept his alleged doping (which the GT winner thread, suggests he is doping). Why? becoz it's the nice guy favouritism I reckon. He is a humble champion, a softly spoken spaniard, who doesn't have the arrogance of your usual Ricco, Vino or Armstrong. he's quite likeable really..

Deep down, we want to see heroic performances. That's why people sit here and complain about why the Tour is so boring. It's percieved as boring now becoz there is an artificial limit on what the riders are permitted to do. By monitoring their blood work, you are limiting the number of 'highly' doped performances. Which is a good step in my opinion, but I find the irony of people complaining about boring races AND also complaining about past dopers rather interesting and hypocritical. Some people demand a Floyd-Morzine solo attack, but they also attack Floyd. You can't have it both ways. Accept slower and less 'unbelievable' races if you don't accept doping.

I don't think that we should forget about what our past heroes have done, nor condone it, but we should focus on the future. The future of the sport is the only thing that hasn't been written yet. Fans must demand a clean sport, and they must accept that clean performances are going to be less entertaining than doped performances and they mustn't support riders who they think are cheating if they really want to change the future. Why? becoz doping has been accepted in cycling (and all sport) for a long time, and that continuing to accept it now, in 2010, isn't going to change the sport for the better.

I am not trying to tell people who they should and shouldn't support, but my only suggestion is that the obsession with Armstrong and his 1999 samples isn't helping anyone. Obsess about the new kids on the block that are winning grand tours, classics and world championships in the next 2-3 years and demand that these riders win clean. Armstrong will be gone in approximately 18 months, and in next few decades time we can have the same discussions of 'did he or didn't he' about the next multiple tour winners that grace our TV screens.

One can only hope that at some stage the sport turns the corner and doping is not accepted by the fans or the riders, but I suspect we are yet to see this, and we are waiting for something that is highly unlikely to happen.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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on the fence

i'm not sure what your decision point is-are you on the fence as to whether lance is a great man worth hero worship? Or are you on fence as to whether you should be inspired by the lance media constructed story to go out and ride your bike? If the former, i think the evidence is clear that lance is not worth hero worship, at least using my moral/ethic system. other moral/ethic systems could come to different conclusions. i do think however, that most modern sports heros have feet of clay, and using the image of lance and the associated media story to inspire you to ride your bike more often is certainly a positive. thus, you shouldn't worry about the man himself, just use the myth to bring positives to your life [most people are unknowable anyway].
 
Jul 23, 2009
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cawright1375 said:
I’m curious if there are any on the fence Lance fans?

I'm no fan of Lance Armstrong the person, or perhaps the public persona as I've never met the man. But I admire his accomplishments while deeply believing that they were ill-gotten. I consider him a doper and a cheat, but he also had to be a good enough cyclist to repeatedly defeat the best dopers and cheats in the sport. I won't go so far as to say I respect that, but I do admire the talent and the commitment that was required to achieve those seven victories.

cawright1375 said:
I guess for me I’d like to know what came first the tests or the original article...the lab didn’t know whose urine they were testing
The article was written well after the tests, which were done during the 1999 Tour de France. The lab only had access to a code assigned to the sample, which did not reveal the rider's name. The journalist had to obtain documents from Armstrong himself to learn what codes had been assigned to his samples.

cawright1375 said:
And of course there is the argument that if everyone else was doing it, was it cheating.
Yes of course it is cheating. You are right, it was widespread in the peloton, but you have to wonder how many cyclists lost their chance because they would or could not take EPO. And how many people have died because they did?

cawright1375 said:
Now we’ve seen that Floyd was apparently willing to do anything to win his case so if he had knowledge of team doping practices why wouldn’t he have given it up for a reduced sentence?
Good question. I've wondered that myself. Perhaps because his reputation in his chosen circle of friends and fans is all he had left. Perhaps because the credibility of a cheater who only spills the beans when caught is cannon fodder for the lawyers that Armstrong can afford. Perhaps he has received the promise of future reward for upholding omerta. Only Floyd knows.
 
Hey Inner Peace, thanks for your detailed thoughts. I have a few reflections of my own to what you've said.

Inner Peace said:
I re-read a thread about doping and past GT winners, and the conclusion was that Lemond was the last clean winner?!? That's concerning to me for two reasons. One, that people really do think everyone is doping. Two, the majority of the discussion is about one rider called Armstrong. It is interesting to note on this forum that no-one does even remotely a similar analysis about the other 'dopers' than they do about Armstrong. If you genuinely believe that all GT winners are dopers, then why not pick-apart all the details about Contador's, Valverde'ss, Sastre's, menchov's pasts?? There is some discussion about these riders, but not even remotely close to the amount wasted on Armstrong, who we are pretty certain of anyway. Wouldn't it be more interesting to discuss the riders we have limited information on?

Deep down, we want to see heroic performances. That's why people sit here and complain about why the Tour is so boring. It's percieved as boring now becoz there is an artificial limit on what the riders are permitted to do. By monitoring their blood work, you are limiting the number of 'highly' doped performances. Which is a good step in my opinion, but I find the irony of people complaining about boring races AND also complaining about past dopers rather interesting and hypocritical. Some people demand a Floyd-Morzine solo attack, but they also attack Floyd. You can't have it both ways. Accept slower and less 'unbelievable' races if you don't accept doping.

So first, yes it would be more interesting to discuss other riders, since Armstrong has been discussed to death and the evidence is pretty clear. However, you have to understand how high above any other cyclist (and most athletes in the past decade, really) Armstrong's profile is. There are many, many more people who know who Lance Armstrong is than know what the Ronde van Vlaanderen is, for example. And there are many people that buy into the PR-spin/mythology he's created around himself. That so many people believe in him naively (at least to the eyes of many knowledgeable cycling fans) is bound to frustrate people who consider themselves 'real' fans, and people will feel the need to tell 'fanboys' that they don't know what they're talking about, whether it's for reasons of trying to 'tell the world' about the 'real' Lance or just looking for a fight. Whether or not it's more interesting, you have to understand why there is so much more discussion about him.

Secondly, I don't agree with your thesis that the tour is boring because there is a lack of doping, and that people here have that complaint for that reason. I think the reason people complain about the Tour being boring is twofold: first, because it IS boring compared to some other races. I mean, it's exciting in the sense that it brings the best cyclists together and watching them duke it out can be fun, but it's very formulaic. Throwing in mountains in the first week, or four crazy stages in a row, to name a few things the other grand tours do, would make it more exciting. The second reason I think people complain is that the Tour is so overhyped. People who love the classics and smaller tours and other grand tours (and year-round racing in general) are bound to feel a bit bothered by the attention given to the Tour, and are bound to shout a little louder that it's boring when so many people are sucked into it's reputation as the best cycling event of the year. I know I do. Exciting racing can still happen without doping, in my opinion.
 
Inner Peace said:
I re-read a thread about doping and past GT winners, and the conclusion was that Lemond was the last clean winner?!? That's concerning to me for two reasons. One, that people really do think everyone is doping. Two, the majority of the discussion is about one rider called Armstrong. It is interesting to note on this forum that no-one does even remotely a similar analysis about the other 'dopers' than they do about Armstrong. If you genuinely believe that all GT winners are dopers, then why not pick-apart all the details about Contador's, Valverde'ss, Sastre's, menchov's pasts?? There is some discussion about these riders, but not even remotely close to the amount wasted on Armstrong, who we are pretty certain of anyway. Wouldn't it be more interesting to discuss the riders we have limited information on?

How can we discuss what we have barely any information on? It's just accusing riders of doping based on their performance then (which is what some people do anyway).

It'd be nice if the UCI released all the rider's blodd profile info so we could all have a good debate about them, but until that happens we'll just have to talk about what information/proof we have.

Also, I think that if people didn't argue so much in the face of overwhelming evidence, there'd be a lot less Lance discussion.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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skidmark said:
Exciting racing can still happen without doping, in my opinion.
+1. What makes for an exciting race is the parcours, the strategies, and of course fate. This varies from fan to fan, but I like to see a Tour de France with windy stages in Brittany, medium length ITT's with rolling profiles, and 3-4 mountain top finishes. I like sprint finishes, but love it when the breakaway has a chance at surviving. I tire of seeing endless flat stages in the central massif, I tire of seeing the peloton together until the last 10 km of the final col, I tire of seeing the race controlled from the car - things that have little to do with doping.
 
Jan 30, 2010
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skidmark said:
Hey Inner Peace, thanks for your detailed thoughts. I have a few reflections of my own to what you've said.



So first, yes it would be more interesting to discuss other riders, since Armstrong has been discussed to death and the evidence is pretty clear. However, you have to understand how high above any other cyclist (and most athletes in the past decade, really) Armstrong's profile is. There are many, many more people who know who Lance Armstrong is than know what the Ronde van Vlaanderen is, for example. And there are many people that buy into the PR-spin/mythology he's created around himself. That so many people believe in him naively (at least to the eyes of many knowledgeable cycling fans) is bound to frustrate people who consider themselves 'real' fans, and people will feel the need to tell 'fanboys' that they don't know what they're talking about, whether it's for reasons of trying to 'tell the world' about the 'real' Lance or just looking for a fight. Whether or not it's more interesting, you have to understand why there is so much more discussion about him.

Secondly, I don't agree with your thesis that the tour is boring because there is a lack of doping, and that people here have that complaint for that reason. I think the reason people complain about the Tour being boring is twofold: first, because it IS boring compared to some other races. I mean, it's exciting in the sense that it brings the best cyclists together and watching them duke it out can be fun, but it's very formulaic. Throwing in mountains in the first week, or four crazy stages in a row, to name a few things the other grand tours do, would make it more exciting. The second reason I think people complain is that the Tour is so overhyped. People who love the classics and smaller tours and other grand tours (and year-round racing in general) are bound to feel a bit bothered by the attention given to the Tour, and are bound to shout a little louder that it's boring when so many people are sucked into it's reputation as the best cycling event of the year. I know I do. Exciting racing can still happen without doping, in my opinion.

I agree with both your points.

On the first, I do understand why Armstrong is discussed to death, and I realise that we cannot change that. Just a bit of a rant on my part I guess! I'm not trying to change what people can or cannot say. Discuss Armstrong at your wish, it's just that there are better topics in my opinion.

On the second, it was not my thesis that the tour is boring, but rather upon reading what others have said, I came to the conclusion that their thesis is that the tour is boring. Upon re-reading my comments, I see that it was not clear that I made that distinction, but thanks for correcting me as I agree that exciting racing can still happen without doping. But my point was that people shouldn't expect to see a 100km solo attack that defines the tour. Those days will dissappear as doping does.

I just feel that there is some confliction here that i've read many comments about how great and exciting Vino (a clear doper) is and how boring say Evans (considered to be one of the cleanest) is. So i was noting that irony and hypocricy. Not complaining about it, but just something i've noted.



luckyboy said:
How can we discuss what we have barely any information on? It's just accusing riders of doping based on their performance then (which is what some people do anyway).

It'd be nice if the UCI released all the rider's blodd profile info so we could all have a good debate about them, but until that happens we'll just have to talk about what information/proof we have.

Also, I think that if people didn't argue so much in the face of overwhelming evidence, there'd be a lot less Lance discussion.

I agree. But at the same time, I don't understand the depth of discussion about Armstrong when the case is pretty much closed. Again, I'm not complaining about it, but merely noting what i've seen on these forums since i started reading 6 months back.

I have seen many posters write their same argument over and over and over to prove Armstrong doped. If you've said it once, everyone knows your stance so I don't see why they keep persisting when there are far more interesting discussions.

I happy for discussion in general, and I don't want anyone thinking that i'm trying to mandate what should and should not be said, but these are just my thoughts really. Each to their own really, people can discuss what they want, but my opinion is that non-Armstrong discussion is far more interesting..
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Inner Peace said:
I just feel that there is some confliction here that i've read many comments about how great and exciting Vino (a clear doper) is and how boring say Evans (considered to be one of the cleanest) is. So i was noting that irony and hypocricy. Not complaining about it, but just something i've noted.
There is no conflict. Most people who are anti-doping would prefer never to see 'excting' Vino again and would cheer on a 'boring' Evans victory any day. Just because an anti-doping poster may want a more exciting tour does not infer that they want Vino and his ilk to return doped up to the gills.

Also, the tour was quite often boring during Lance's 7 year procession and it was mired in EPO. So a return to drugs is not what is being sought.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Inner Peace said:
I have seen many posters write their same argument over and over and over to prove Armstrong doped. If you've said it once, everyone knows your stance so I don't see why they keep persisting when there are far more interesting discussions.
Because there are those who still persist in defending the indefensible and present ill-informed and just plain wrong information. I admire the persistence of some of the posters on this forum who week after week continue to present correct, common sense information, even if at times I think they are a tad pessimistic.
 
Originally Posted by Inner Peace
I have seen many posters write their same argument over and over and over to prove Armstrong doped. If you've said it once, everyone knows your stance so I don't see why they keep persisting when there are far more interesting discussions
petethedrummer said:
There is no conflict. Most people who are anti-doping would prefer never to see 'excting' Vino again and would cheer on a 'boring' Evans victory any day. Just because an anti-doping poster may want a more exciting tour does not infer that they want Vino and his ilk to return doped up to the gills.

Also, the tour was quite often boring during Lance's 7 year procession and it was mired in EPO. So a return to drugs is not what is being sought.

petethedrummer said:
Because there are those who still persist in defending the indefensible and present ill-informed and just plain wrong information. I admire the persistence of some of the posters on this forum who week after week continue to present correct, common sense information, even if at times I think they are a tad pessimistic.

Vino is exciting not because he dopes but because he dares to attack. If he was doping more than the others his attacks would have achieved more success. As one who is "anti-doping" I can assure you that in the current environment I would not consider an Evans victory to be very much more of a clean over dirty cycling victory than a Lance or Vino or Wigans or Contador or Kloden or Levi or A or F Schleck or .........well anybody at this time really, victory would be.
Cycling is drug riddled from top to bottom. Sure you can say it has always been that way, and you would not be wrong, but the problem with that is that the drugs these days are so good that they preclude the individual's choice to not take them and still have a pro career of any sort. So as a bike shop and small racing team owner what do I tell any really talented kid that I come in contact with? How do you explain that to them, that "normal" preparation for top level racing includes the absolute necessity of cheating and that you can not be competitive unless you do and that if you get caught it will not be because you did anything that everyone else didn't do but just that you were somehow "unlucky", and you should just STFU and serve your time and then go back to doing the same thing all over again.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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You can be a total fanboy and still understand that that Armstrong doped.

The evidence is overwhelming, you would have a chemical imbalance to ignore it, but this does not mean you can't be a fan. You can like his story, his racing and training style, that fact that he makes lots of $$, wins the Tour many times, bangs models and rocks stars. All this is understandable to be attracted to, but to pretend he didn't dope doesn't make you a fanboy, it makes you an idiot.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Epoché said:
Which race was that?

Most races before 91/92 and the arrival of Blood doping.

You could people losing 10 minutes one day, then winning by that much to following day. the volatility of the races has decreased as the drugs have been refined...
 
Aug 25, 2009
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I don't get the obsession with singling him out. Cycling's history of doping hardly originated with armstrong. So he's an @rsehole, big deal - in the larger sporting world he would scarcely even rate on that scale. His dealings with contador even if you believe only Contadors side scarcely rate on the sports dirty dealings scale. It seems that many of the biggest haters around here used to be fans, is it sort of like a recent breakup with a partner,once she was a saint, now she is the ultimate b!tch, but with time you'll realise you were wrong on both counts?

Good thread by the way.
 
I have noticed that nobody has mentioned the incident with Simeoni in this or the other thread. That was a very relevant issue for me and utterly despicable incident in my eyes. People have tried to pass it of as the sort of incident that occurs all the time but if people knew the full history, they would know it was a issue that started before Lance had won a single Tour yet he still managed to make it all about him. I know I have seen very few if any similar incidents in the 20 years I have followed this sport. That was the incident that made me realise what Lance was really like and he has backed it up time and time again since then.

On whether doping makes the Tour more boring or not, its irrelevant, the Tour is boring when there is a dominant rider, team etc. It dont matter if riders were doping or not. There was no EPO in 89 and it was the greatest Tour ever. Most of Lances Tour wins were borefests, because he was so dominant, 03 was the exception and I sure every contender was jacked to the gills that year. Same with the Indurain years. Like most people I came to the sport through the Tour but now I much prefer the classics, just look at the drama at Het Nieuwslad last weekend.
 
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pmcg76 said:
I have noticed that nobody has mentioned the incident with Simeoni in this or the other thread. That was a very relevant issue for me and utterly despicable incident in my eyes. People have tried to pass it of as the sort of incident that occurs all the time but if people knew the full history, they would know it was a issue that started before Lance had won a single Tour yet he still managed to make it all about him. I know I have seen very few if any similar incidents in the 20 years I have followed this sport. That was the incident that made me realise what Lance was really like and he has backed it up time and time again since then.

On whether doping makes the Tour more boring or not, its irrelevant, the Tour is boring when there is a dominant rider, team etc. It dont matter if riders were doping or not. There was no EPO in 89 and it was the greatest Tour ever. Most of Lances Tour wins were borefests, because he was so dominant, 03 was the exception and I sure every contender was jacked to the gills that year. Same with the Indurain years. Like most people I came to the sport through the Tour but now I much prefer the classics, just look at the drama at Het Nieuwslad last weekend.

The seminal moment for many. Also, the media vomit he spewed at Betsy Andreau contributed significantly to my disdain. But as the years go by, I just really want him to go away. He is a has-been who needs to sell some stuff to maintain his Michelob Ultra lifestyle. I think he is famous enough to do that without losing any more Tour de Frances.
 
Boring Lance years because of the USP train. One by one they burned the others off. How were the likes of George able to do this? :rolleyes:

Moment for me was flying home from America in 2000 and reading his book on the plane. I remembered thinking that this does not make sense. He went from dropping out of races because he was f***ed physically from chemo etc, to suddenly coming fourth in the Vuelta. The transformation was not credible and is something that Sally Jenkins tried to dress up in Hollywood speak with that week in the cabin. The other moment was the formula that he alluded to in this book that CC came up with. It was meant to be some kind of mathematical equation / formula for increased effectiveness as regards weight. But it was a vague pile of nonsense.

Why has Lance been 'picked' on? Name one other rider who has benefitted so much from doping. Name one other rider who has tried so hard to keep the Omerta in place. Name a rider who led a protest whereby other riders spat on a whistleblower. Name a rider who has bullied another clean rider. In 1998 the sport was at a crossroads. He won the tour in 1999 with the help of doping. He has played a large part in keeping the sport in the doldrums as regards doping.
Go to minute 4.40 on this clip, and tell me if there is someone else as brazen as this. Yet again using the cancer card.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG4odJP-Zuw