C'est Cool

News & Results

09/21/2005| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen

C'est Cool

There wasn?t an overabundance of drama at the 2005 Tour de France; so here it comes.

For two weeks after I returned from my fourth trip to experience the Tour de France, many friends and acquaintances asked me about Lance and the 2005 Tour.   I had a few answers and some short stories but I was too tired out to really give much of an answer.   Now that a few weeks have passed I am finally ready to give some measured responses.   But the answers have now become more complicated since the big revelations in L?Equipe about Lance showing traces of EPO in some 1999 blood samples.   Somehow, I knew that Lance Armstrong was not going to be out of the headlines for long.

 

This latest set of international headlines sets off a storm of reaction from every quarter that leaves me confused and bewildered.   There was not an overabundance of drama at the 2005 Tour de France; so now here it comes.   I am left with an ever expanding list of questions: If this is
France
?s version of yellow journalism, how can it possibly do anything but tarnish the world?s greatest bike race.  That L?Equipe owns a chunk of the TDF makes it even more bewildering.   What are we to think about the irregular manner that the revelations came out? Are these lab guys really amateurs and is the French cycling collapse really that essential to the national character?  How much can we care about some tests done seven years after the race during which the samples were taken? Did Lance know that it was possible that he might be outed on some 1999 EPO violation and that is why he pushed to garner a seventh title- because he knew that if he lost the one he still had the record of six on the shelf?   How long will the Armstrong affair go on?   Will it stretch out like the
Hamilton
affair and leave the same bitter bile aftertaste?   Why do thoughts like this even come up after such a glorious, unprecedented career?  

 

My European cycling friends would say these thoughts and questions come up exactly because Lance had such an extraordinary career. Extraordinary outcomes require extraordinary inputs.   When I question such savvy, hardened logic I am made to seem like an American na?f. Ever since I first witnessed Lance take the yellow jersey on the Tourmalet in 2002, I have been a true believer.   Now, the question is can I still be a true believer if I have even a scintilla of doubt about the perfect arc of a mythical cycling career?  

 

While there was a real lack of drama in 2005, there were notable occurrences.   I do not have to recount them here as many others have written millions of words about this years Tour and many more millions of pictures have been taken.   Most of the stories, insights and views are better than I could ever offer, but I still like my small insights which I think cast some light on the

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