Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lance Armstrong...

He just rode his last Tour... Granted, we all thought he was done back in 2005 after he won his 7th Tour De France and retired the first time. Heck, I though he was done back in 1996 when I first heard he had cancer. I've been a fan of Lance ever since 1993. You see, I was a huge fan of Greg Lemond and followed the Tour de France as a teenager through the late 80's and the early 90's. In 1993 Lance won a stage in the Tour and he also won the World Championships. Lance quickly became my new sports hero replacing the one I had lost when Greg Lemond retired.

I lost interest in cycling for myself and sold both my bikes around the same time Lance was first diagnosed with cancer. It wasn't until 3 years later with Lance doing well in the 1999 Tour that I considered taking up cycling again. I told myself that if Lance were to win the Tour, I would buy another bicycle. He did it; I bought a Trek Y-frame mountain bike. I don't have that bike any more, but I do own as many bikes as Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France. I also have every Tour de France on video since 1985 and multiple books on the Tour and about Lance Armstrong. You could say I'm a Tour junkie and also a huge Lance fan.

Now, here come the...


I believe Lance Armstrong doped.

I still believe what he did was a great accomplishment. I still appreciate what he has done for the cancer patients and survivors out there. Heck, I appreciate what he has done for me. He was my inspiration to get back out on a bicycle. I've competed in well over 100 runs, multisport events, and bicycle races and I owe a good portion of the motivation to get back out there to Lance Armstrong.

Since Lance Armstrong started winning the Tour, I switched to Computer Science as my major and graduated with honors in 04'. I appreciated the logic in Computer Science as opposed to the subjective grading found in less objective classes. The subjective side of me wants to believe in Lance, but the objective side knows better.

I know there are thousands or even millions of people out there unwilling to take this objective approach. They'll repeat the line "He's been tested 100's of times and has never failed a drug test". Lots of people smarter than me honestly believe this means something, it doesn't. Lots of admitted dopers never failed drug tests.

Here is a list of objective reasons why I believe Lance doped to win 7 consecutive TDFs:
- The high number of Lance's closest competitors during his 7 wins that have since confessed, been caught, or suspected of doping
- The high number of Lance's teammates from his 7 wins that have been busted or admitted to doping
- The high number of Lance's teammates or ex friends/acquaintances willing to testify under oath Lance doped or admitted to doping
- The fact that twice Lance has actually failed a doping test, once for EPO and once for testosterone
- The inhuman increase in average speeds during the 7 year span that Lance won the TDF
- That Lance was able to out climb and time trial so many admitted dopers during his seven year reign. To dominate in both specialties is superb, during an era of doping, unbelievable

Each and every one of those reasons is worthy of 5 or more pages, but I've gone on long enough as it is. Bottom line for me, Lance Armstrong doped in an era of rampant doping and was the best cyclist of his time. I'm still a fan of his for all he does in the fight against cancer. I still can put any of his 7 TDF victories in the DVD player and enjoy every moment of it. Fortunately, I never have looked to Lance Armstrong for any type of moral guidance; rather, he's been an athletic motivation to me. As a moral guide, he's about as good as Bernie Madoff is for financial advice.

I'm curious to see what the future holds. Will Lance admit to any wrong doings? Will he plead the 5th when asked to testify? Either way, life will go on for me. I might sell a bike or two, but it no longer has anything to do with Lance Armstrong, I just need the money! Thanks Bernie Madoff...