Saturday, October 06, 2012

'My Conscience Is Clear': Of Course, It Helps Not to Have One...

And Hell, I Let Hincapie Ferry the Drugs, Anyway: well, *that* settles it: Lance Armstrong has moved on from screwing the entire sport of cycling of an intimidating double-barreled assault o' power-mongering and martyrdom for over a decade, and he, for one, thinks that's more than enough for everyone. I'm sure the clean (and dirty) riders who tried to break omerta you !@#$ed feel much much better knowing you sleep so well at night! So let's leave aside the drama of the spurned-lover disillusioned fans, the relentlessly in-denial tinfoil-hat fans, and the desperate ass-covering of his reflected-glory-basking enablers to ask this: really, Mr. Armstrong? You don't think it's somehow a *good* thing that we do what we need to to learn from our wrongdoing, to analyze how cycling descended into such a money-soaked rigged-game pit, in order to figure out how to minimize--because we get that 'eliminate' is impossible--the impact of competitive athletes' basest and most selfish human instincts on this beautiful sport? You don't think there's something to be said for figuring out what, individually or systemically, helped precipitate or worsen the terrible downward spirals that took down fragile guys like Pantani and a host of others? I mean, maybe--probably--you *were* the best cyclist in history. You certainly revolutionized, for better or worse, the way riders train, focus, and specialize, to the exclusion of the style of the legendary all-rounders that came before you. But we'll never know it for sure. Why? Because people dope because it *works*, natch, and the more money and personnel and medical support you spend on it, the better and less-detectable doping you get. And if you're the team and best of all the guy at the top of that pyramid, then you're *not* playing on a level playing field and your doping *did* throw the results. And don't bull!@##=$ that it didn't matter to you--you built a damn bazillion-dollar cult around it, and an ostentatious Hollywood one at that. And sure, everyone assumes dopers'll lie to defend themselves. But to lie *and* to actively hunt down and destroy other people who tell the truth--unlike, say, Iban or Jan or Roberto, who at least didn't take it out on anybody else--is really !@#$ty. So it's nice you have a clear conscience, Lance. Just don't pretend it's good for the sport and everyone else. Please, haven't we all had enough total crap already with this farce?

We're Still Racing, Baby!: nope, we ain't done yet kids--there's still today's Giro d'Emilia, tomorrow's Paris-Tours, and oh right, the upcoming Tour of Beijing. So enjoy Nibali's last race in neon Liquigas--and he better make Vinokourov think he's worth it, since Francesco Moser just called him an overpaid mediocrity--good luck Sunday to the sprinters, and baby Schleck, have a good ride in Beijing--hell, you could use it!

Adios, Oscar!: last but not least, with Oscar Freire apparently turning down management offers to really call it a cycling career, I'd be sorely remiss in not paying tribute to a rider who not only triumphed over !@@-chomping saddlesores, weird sinus problems, constant neck and back pain, and freakin' buckshot from some crazed Tour de France spectator, but captured three World Championships, three Milano-Sanremos, a bucket of Grand Tour stages, and damn near everything else on the road to boot. Thanks for a great career Oscar--now, won't you reconsider joining dear Euskaltel?


Jez Andrews said...

What still bugs me about L.Armstrong is that he still won't even admit that during his time as a racer drug were rife in the peleton. It's one thing to deny taking them yourself but to deny there was (is?) a problem seems odd. To much lying to much cover up. Guilty all the way.

Doug said...

Yep, we'll miss ya Oscarito!