Thursday, February 3, 2011

I can't believe I'm gonna say this.

Well, last week Alberto Contador was handed a 1 year suspension and stripped of his Tour de France title for his consumption of tainted Spanish beef. Of course he is still claiming innocence and saying he'll fight the charges.

It would be refreshing if a busted cyclist would just come forward IMMEDIATELY after getting popped and say "Yeah, I did it. I'm sorry. See ya in a year." But, they never, ever do and they always claim innocence, blaming the testing procedures, beef, or Jack Daniels.

As any cyclist would tell you, the system is completely broken. I know I've talked about it in the past, so I won't rehash how to fix the issue. But, I will say that I really don't believe all pro cyclists are dopers, but I do think there are a lot of them.

Right now, the biggest fish of them all is in the cross-hairs of a modern day witch hunt. Lance Armstrong. Now, let me preface what I'm gonna say about this by letting you know how I feel about LA. I think he's a douche. I think that his ego is one of the biggest in the world, esp. in the world of cycling. I'm not a fan of his, although when he first began his comeback I thought it was a good human interest story. I wished once, just ONCE, Jan Ullrich would have done a German goosestep all over him. I think if he is found to be a doper, I for one would NOT be surprised. Does this show you what I think of Lance? I have to say this because I cannot believe I am going to defend him.

How many people that have formerly raced with him have been busted for doping? Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Alberto Contador, etc. have all raced with Armstrong, then gone on to get busted for doping after leaving whatever team Armstrong was on, but never busted while on the team.

Now, I am far from an expert on doping. Hell, for me, doping in cycling is chugging a beer and popping a few ibuprofen. That being said, I would think that if there was a systemic doping regimen going on in Lance's world, wouldn't those big names have learned something? Like how to cover it up? And yet, basically the YEAR AFTER they left Lance's side, they get busted. In addition, I can't believe that Lance's team has deeper pockets than any other team for better "dope" that can't be detected.

No, here's what I think is going on. I think that after training with Armstrong, whose ego and ability to focus singularly on one event is unrivaled, they realize that there is no way they can train, strategize, or focus like Lance can. So they turn to the one thing that they think can help them defeat Lance. Look at the one guy that never had delusions of grandeur thinking he could beat Lance: George Hincapie. The only reason George is not by Lance's side is after Postal/Discovery dissolved, George got a new team and has stayed with 'em. But George knew his strength was one-day events, not the Grand Tours. Has George ever been busted? Nope. Will he ever get busted? Highly doubtful. The others knew what they had to do to beat the LA machine. George didn't care.

So, I cannot believe I am defending LA, but I guess I kinda am. Why? I don't know. I guess I am just sick and tired of the mudslinging going on in the press about this, mostly from the Floyd camp. I won't be surprised if they bust LA, but I won't be surprised if they don't, either.