Moving past the anger
For the good of the cycling sport we need to put the anger behind.
the butt for Lance.
Circling back to Armstrong his lack of cooperation shows he’s not about righting the amount of massive wrongs he’s participated in, but is in full cover-his-butt mode.
Like I mentioned earlier, I visited with the 5-Hour Energy/Kenda squad this past weekend. In addition to the questions I had regarding the team, I went a bit off-script. When you’re in a van following the team as they ride, you have plenty of time to discuss various topics. In addition to the usual team goal stuff, doping questions, and how funny it was that I passed a kidney stone a couple of weeks ago, I quizzed Andreu on if he’d take certain riders onto the team - some were riders that were currently suspended and others had been retired for almost more years than I’d been alive.
Andreu’s answers ranged from, “Too much baggage” to “Sure, I’d take Merckx.” The lesson learned is that there’s always room for a Merckx on the team.
I also put the question to Andreu about riders, who now have the black mark of doping on their career, yet still celebrate their Tour accomplishments. The 5-Hour Energy director still considers that he completed nine editions of the Tour de France, even though he doped in two of them.
Before asking Frankie I posed the same question to a buddy, who then went on to ask a few more people. The general consensus is that while the athlete in question doped throughout his career, he finished those Tours against a peloton that was also widely doping.
My takeaway from listening to Frankie, as well as my buddy, is that their accomplishments are tainted but that was the era cycling was in. Wiping away a rider’s participation from the record books doesn’t do the sport any favors.
I can see some of that argument. However, it still bugs me that some riders are still celebrating their accomplishments - even those accomplished while they doped. As the Armstrong lawsuits continue I guess I’m going to have to come to grips with the fact that the past generation will always have the doping taint on them and we have to hope that the new generation has a brighter future.
I asked Andreu if he thought this “new generation” of riders is facing a cleaner sport.
“I do believe it has changed. The mentality of journalists, fans, media are not going to tolerate what happened before. They are going to investigate and find out the truth. It’s healthier and gaining back its reputation, but it’s going to be a long process because fans were burned for such a long time, so you aren’t going to get their trust back.”
That’s where I’m at - trying to get my trust back in a sport where I had riders tell me to my face, empathically, they did not dope. I wasn’t the only one. Other journalists as well as you, the fans, were lied to and at a certain point we need to move past the anger of being duped in order