The cycling world is crashing down. Am I upset? Not really. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? Not at all.
I've read Tyler's book. I've read USADA's report. Its a lot to take in. The biggest thing for me is how deep and complex this system of trafficking, smuggling, and usage was. It was also hard to believe that these "so-called" doctors were behind it all.
That said - the biggest bomb - Lance's influence and control. It wasn't the team director, the trainer, the team owner - it was him. I was surprised how early he had such control. Its not like he turned into this "Godfather" after the 6th or 7th tour win - it was from the very start.
No doubt he has done some great things. He has changed the way North America looks at cycling. He got a lot of people on bikes (not me by the way, I thank my good friend Rich for that....). He also started an empire benefiting the fight against cancer. No fault there either.
But in my opinion, the biggest problem with the whole thing is this: It was all built on false pretences. Livestrong isn't what is is today because Lance beat cancer. Its because he beat cancer and then won 7 tours. All that money from fundraising, sponsors etc didn't come because he was a survivor - its because he was winning races.
Remember the Floyd Fairness Fund? False pretence. What happened when the truth came out? Ordered to pay the money back. What's going to happen with Lance?
I was never really a fan of his. I discovered this sport (as a passion) after his post-retirement comeback in 2010. I remember sitting in an airport in June 2009. My friends refused to get on the plane because a TdF stage was in the final kilometre and they wanted to watch. I didn't care. But as I became a fanatic the following year, I started to get a feel for what he was like. Reading Tyler's book and the report pretty much confirmed what I had come to know. Manipulative. A bully. Its a shame really - because I remember some very inspirational Nike/Livestrong commercials - made my hair stand on end. But in retrospect - duped.
I totally get that the problem is much bigger than Lance. So many other riders, team owners/directors, trainers, doctors, wives, girlfriends.....but ultimately who benefited the most? Who's the one that influenced millions, made millions? That's why the news is making mainstream media. He has fooled too many.
I'm not affected by this on an emotional level. I actually find the drama quite riveting. I enjoy reading all the stories and hearing about the new revelations. Nike has just pulled the plug. Is Trek and Oakley next?
Oh well, rant complete. Can't wait for my next race. Woolastook is a great course put on by a great group. Knee is feeling better after a spin on the rollers last night. Stay tuned.....