The recently issued USADA’s document against Lance Armstrong has focussed the world of sport again to doping. Many times has cycling suffered doping scandals but, as we have seen last season, the sport of pedalling is still alive.
Thanks to USADA’s work, and the statements of many riders and former riders, now there is no doubt that doping has taken an important part on cycling. USADA has proved it. Cycling, always stained with the shadow of doubt, is now known to have been a farse during many years.
Even the ones who bear the flag of new and clean cycling, like Jonathan Vaughters and Christian Vandevelde, from Garmin, or Michael Barry, from Sky, have taken part to the system. There was no chance, they claim.
The fact is that as many are still talking about Armstrong and USADA’s quarrel, live continues and cycling goes on, in Beijing, thousand of kilometres away from the media storm, rides keep on racing.
Cycling is not going to die. If it hasn’t do it already, it hardly will do it in the future. It can survive the fall of the greatest rider of the 21st Century. And that’s because instead of the wide doping scandals, the positive things of this wonderful sport have even more power than the dim ones.
Cycling is more than sport. It is a way of life. You get faster to happiness riding a bike. People still amazes seen riders attacking in the hard slopes of the high mountains of the Tour or Giro. Aremberg forest is crowded every April by people having fun with the fight between riders and cobbles. Kapelmuur will one day comeback to the Ronde Van Vlandereen to give us that mystic image of riders passing by the chapel.
Some have demonstrated that training hard and using sophisticated methods one can be transformed from a fat-ass pistard to a Tour de France winner.
Young riders have grown with Festina and Puerto affairs and for sure that they don’t want their sport to become again the shame of the sport.
It’s complicated to believe in a sport that has anew disappointed us. The system has not been reliable. Like religion, cycling is a question of believe or not to. It has endured so many punches that we could fancy that one day it will be knocked out. But it will not. Cycling has changed, or at last, is being changed. And the shadow of doping is shrinking.