This should have been posted yesterday but, sadly, due to some comments from some sexist insulting idiots that needed responding to I’m posting this today.
I said that cycling needed Armstrong and I stand by that and here’s why.
If we understand the amount of doping in the peloton during that period in cycling history if it wasn’t for Lance that secrecy through denial would still be going today and the sport would be in the same boat as athletics is today.
Armstrong said it during his deposition when he was accused of engineering the largest, most successful doping enterprise in sport, quite simply he pointed to the as then East Germany, today we might point to Russia, or we might sit for a while and contemplate the accusations surround the Nike training facility in the US.
Armstrong and his over inflated ego did the sport a favour, he got sloppy, he got greedy, and he got caught. He proved that the standard denials used throughout sport by male and female athletes aren’t worth the air used to make their statements and he will always be remembered not for the ‘winning’ but for that single sentence “ I’ve never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs”. I’ll freely admit that he’s a lying sack of shit but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t needed.
In this post Lance era the governing bodies did something that the IAAF and the IOC have never done, they took testing to the next level. They took on some of the ‘doctors’ and got them out of the sport in any visible manner but still Armstrong’s shadow looms over the sport and as The Tour ended with Chris Froome in yellow and Dave Brailsford bristling with pride for Team Sky and their train pulled along by Stannard, Poels, Thomas, Henao, Kiryienka, Landa, Nieve and Rowe social media flooded with doping claims and doubts over margin gains.
For most of us marginal gains mean nothing because we still have major gains to make in our personal health, our nutrition and our body composition and once you’ve done all that perhaps then you might want to look at the small stuff but we are talking about a sport where the second best sprinter in the world only won his stage because the best sprinter in the world dropped out to get ready for Rio and when you’re talking about half a tyre width difference between first and second marginal gains count.
I believe that because of Lance this sport has become more switched on and unaccepting of doping which I genuinely feel the governing bodies had been complicit in ignoring the problem even after Festina, but by the time the house of cards crumbled under the weight of David Walsh, Emma O’reilly, Betty and Franky Andreu, Hamilton, and Landis they could no longer ignore the problem and if US Postal get to recover their money it sends a clear, loud message. If you ruin the sport, the sport will ruin you.
I want to believe that this sport we love so much is clean, not just Team Sky but the whole peloton and while people bang on about Team Sky dominance and how unnatural it is they fail to see the most obvious tactic. If you take the Sky Train, nine riders all in the wheels those riders cover a length of around 20 meters and they moving at 30k/ph on and 8% incline. NO TEAM can attack that because while Team Sky work their drills and implement Dave’s Master Plan if you want to attack that you’re going to have to spend so much energy you’ll end up spent.
It’s neither the fault of Davey or the riders that the other teams in the peloton don’t have a tactic to counter and until they do Team Sky will keep on winning.