Whither cycling?

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It’s a pity Wiggia is not with us just now, being tied up in an issue which is driving him spare because his take on the cycling thing would be instructive.

Though I cycle, I’m not so much “into cycling” and really, it was the appearance of Wiggins which got me interested – that and Wiggia himself and his cycling posts. He wrote, on Armstrong [one, two]:

It gives me no pleasure in reading this as my old sport has been through the mill regards doping ever since almost its conception, and whether it can ever fully rid itself of the problem is to be seen.

I also have said enough of where I stand on the matter in the first post, but what this book states is what anybody who knows anything about cycling would believe, even if they did not want to.   I’m not even going through the blindingly obvious again as those Armstrong supporters are just that supporters as in football club with a blind loyalty regardless of what is happening in front of them.

The one thing that I stated in that first post was no one could win clean if everyone else was doping – that is a fact of life.  The one rider who is the oustanding example of that position was the great Raymond Poulidor whom everybody thought doped as everyone else did.

It is well documented he didn’t and the result was that, despite being the most outstanding athlete of his time on a bike, he became known as “the eternal second”.

Therein lies the dilemma.   Wiggia had no illusions about Armstrong and I must admit, I’d hoped he was mistaken but …

Where then does that leave Wiggins who has an anti0drugs stance?   Did he win clean?   Has anyone stuck his neck out and said?   And what of Chris Hoy and those two girls – the Brit and Australian?   Or are drugs only in the endurance events?

What will now happen to cycling as a sport?  Will it just fall away for some time, then come back again with a new generation who know nothing of doping and there they go again?

Armstrong has damaged all sports… not just cycling, says ‘saddened’ Federer

2 Responses to “Whither cycling?”

  1. wiggiatlarge January 21, 2013 at 16:48 Permalink

    Well i’m back just and a late comment on this is just about possible as our house move went through and we moved just, in a blizzard.
    For anyone to stand up and say British cycling is clean full stop is doing so without inside knowledge, the chances are it is clean as far as it is possible to tell, the constant worry is the progress made in drugs in sport and the permanent moving of the goalposts the big future worry is gene therapy, if this becomes implemented it will become virtually impossible to detect and all sports will “benefit” from its use.
    As for drugs in the case of track riders they in the past were of a different animal altogether the steroids much used by eastern block countries and others in explosive events are readily today detectable, the other hard drugs as used in the past are in the same catergory regards detection so only an idiot would take the chance as it would be a miracle if they got away with it.
    As to the girls if VP was bulking up with anything it didn’t work ! but the comments of Nicole Cooke on her retirement blow the myth that all the girls were ‘clean’ and her statement is probably the best from an athlete on the drugs question.
    Federer, well he speaks from a sport that has little or no testing of note only the Porta affaire suggested that tennis players were using the same “clinics” as other sports but as I said before the Spanish federations managed to sweep all but for a few cyclists under the carpet despite several sports being implicated the Spanish have been quite good at that in recent years.
    Which of course brings Contador into the frame,’ got away with it’ sums him up quite well but having him back in the Tour this year with a course that suits him is not what the sport wants or needs, not that the Spanish will care.
    At this moment in time with cycling being the most tested sport of all and new policy being implimented all the time as the drug agencies are cleaned up in the way they handle cases I don’t see that much more at the moment can be done and one things for sure the crowds will be out on the roads of France for the 100th TDF like never before.

  2. Amfortas January 22, 2013 at 04:00 Permalink

    Winning ain’t all, from my armchair.

    I was quite disinterested in cycling as a sport until one night some years ago when there was sod-all else on the TV and I switched to our SBS channel (the multicultural mob). And there, at 10pm until 3 am, for three solid weeks, was the Tour de France.

    Now, I may have some things to say about multiculturalism from time to time but this is not one of them, and I can generally say that SBS puts some fine ‘furrin’ programmes to air. The ‘TdF’ is one.

    Much of a race is plodding. The occasional crash can be startling; the usual break away group demands some attention, along with the expected catch-up of the ‘pelaton’. But generally it is hours and hours of lycra-clad arses pointed at following cameramen (rarely camera women) on motor bikes.

    What does attract my viewing every year is the stunning scenery and the historical snippits from the enthusiastic commentary team. The French TV mob do a first class job and if anyone deserves a Red White and Blue Maillot as I drink my milo, it is they.

    I generally watch with an atlas open on the table and Google-Earth open on the computor. It adds to the flavour of the milo. I wish SBS would go a step further and put GPS trackers on selected riders so we can follow them, as Red Bull does with the FABULOUS Alps Race (walk and parasail across the Alps).

    I am looking forward to that too.

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