Skip to main content

La Tour: A Name Blackened Forever

 
Doping has been the bete noir of cycling for as long as I can remember. Ever since the 1988 Tour of Shame, when doping really hit the front page, fans have never really been sure who is clean and who isn't. As testing became more rigorous so the dopers became more sophisticated and it appeared the real battle amongst the mountains and plains of France was between the chemist and the tester.
 
Then Lance Armstrong happened. A seven-time tour winner, cancer survivor and high profile celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic, Armstrong's continued and vociferous denial of doping was enough to convince his fans. Until the weight of evidence became overwhelming and Armstrong admitted to doping all along. As more and more former winners came clean on their enhanced performance, it became difficult to declare a winner for some Tours.
 
The sport lost. It lost because those who cheated not only claimed the glory but also because good riders who were potential winners in a clean field were nowhere against chemically enhanced rivals, ultimately giving up on the sport that should have been nurturing their skills and passion.
 
And the sport will continue to lose. Chris Froome's second victory was marred by abuse along the route. Even the sport's fans who make the effort to turn out to greet the riders through the towns and villages no longer believe that it's possible to win the Tour without cheating. Froome was not lauded as a great rider, but despised as the best of the cheaters.
 
Froome and his fellow 2015 Tour participants will claim to be racing clean, but much as we want to believe them I doubt even their biggest fans will be able to say, hand on heart, they don't have some reservations. That's a legacy that Lance Armstrong has certainly bequeathed to future winners.
 
How does Le Tour and cycling in general recover its reputation? Only by creating an even more extreme testing regime. Daily testing of riders? Genetic profiling? In order to put its house in order the world of cycling needs to find some method of guaranteeing that riders are succeeding only through their own efforts.
 
Until then the Tour's result sheet remains only a passable work of fiction.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.