Cycling is at a crossroads

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12/31/2012| 2 comments
by Neil Browne

Cycling is at a crossroads

In these tough times, tough decisions need to be made.

those companies? Both Rabobank and RadioShack-Nissan have been hit with either strong allegations or proof that organized doping was part of their managerial structure.

Interestingly, UCI president Pat McQuaid stated to the Irish Examiner that he has fought against doping ever since becoming UCI president. He takes aim at former pro and now journalist Paul Kimmage saying he has a personal vendetta against him. McQuaid says that “mischievous statements” have come from Jaime Fuller, chairman of Skins compression gear as well as board member of Change Cycling Now (CCN).

McQuaid makes some fair points stating that the UCI isn’t a police force and can’t kick in the doors of athletes in the dead of night to demand testing. There wasn’t a test for EPO and the UCI was doing the best it could.

There are counterarguments that doping was obvious and the signs were there that Armstrong was as dirty as a pig in slop. However, for me the statement that shows McQuaid still has his head buried in the sand is, “I do believe, either way, come 2013, Lance will be forgotten anyway. The sport will move on.”

He continues by saying we should look at Brad Wiggins’ amazing 2012 season: three overall stage race wins (Paris-Nice, Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine), overall win at the Tour de France, and gold medal in the time trial at the London Olympics. From the month of March to August, Wiggins was unstoppable.

The Irishman cites the success of the various cycling disciplines at the Olympics and how the sport of cycling is growing outside its historic European boundaries.

The interview with the Irish Examiner ends with McQuaid saying, “So I don’t think this is going to have any huge negative effect on the sport. Things are going in the right direction.”

Respectfully Mr. McQuaid I don’t subscribe to that point of view. The former manager of the RadioShack-Nissan team, Johan Bruyneel, is expected to face a hearing sometime next year. This is only going to drag out either more names or at the minimum put the doping story back into view. I have a feeling that more redacted names from riders’ affidavits will become public and we’ll have a wave of “I did it, but was under pressure” type of admissions.

And let’s not forget McQuaid’s passive approach to using what authority he did have to at least try to curb doping. Instead we have stories of backdated prescriptions and pay-offs to conceal positive doping tests.

Yes Mr. McQuaid we have a long way to go before the ghosts of Armstrong’s past no longer haunt the sport of cycling. Perhaps this independent commission whose purpose is to investigate the claims that the UCI was complicit in organized doping when it came to the Golden Goose known as Lance Armstrong will get to the bottom of the whole seedy situation.

In my town of Greenville, South Carolina there is the Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Park. For those who may not know the history of baseball, Jackson was a Major League Baseball player in the early

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hughest|

I see our sport from the point of view of a life long fan of the sport. I had a few heroes over the years, I got to see the Coors Classic a few times as well as the S.F. Gran Prix and now I get to share this wonderful sport with my son's 12,9 and 5 are my boys ages and they know more about cycling than 80% of America. I have never been accused of being a fan of LA but I will always respect the Livestrong movement. Me and the boys have gotten to meet a ton of huge name guys and MOST of the time (like 99.9% kind of most of the time) they were super nice and would always focus on the kids. Big George and DZ were excellent, every single time. DZ sitting in dope tent cracking jokes with my 12 y/o about some doofy old dude trying to touch DZ. After a extremely cold and wet stage that finished in Modesto, Big George came rolling into the bus parking and ride directly to my kids, said hello and offered them his bottles off his bike. It was freezing and he is still that kind of cool.... Thanks again for that by the way George.
You cant get an American athlete to act like that on their best day let alone "one of the worst days ever on a bike"-Levi.
so as I see it, cycling should survive just fine. The riders treat the fans like they matter and the fans will continue to follow. If UCI or the teams change the way they interact with the public and cycling will suffer. Look back at NASCAR when the drivers were asses and had very little contact if any with the fans. They made a small change in access to the drivers and the fans came flying out of the sheds and outhouses to get a pituer with Dale or JR.
Now should be the time when a company considering sponsoring a team should strike. Getting in when cycling is turning and claiming a spot in the clean up is priceless free advertising.
JV is no idiot, Garmin is as respected and feared for a reason.
I would kill to get to work in professional cycling. All you people that are ruining our sport should step aside and let those of us who love the sport take over and let it be the epic adventure that cycling is.

XpertNtraining|

Cycling's comeback can be a long way down the road or it could be back in a year, it all depends on how "the powers that be" handle it. If its handled like the Nuremberg Trials were handled, it will take years and wear heavily on the whole industry. However if those powers determine that they only need to remove or discipline the select top few, and then eliminate the doping loop holes, this can be over quickly and back to the positive parts of cycling.

Like in a down housing market, that's when it is time to buy, I see it that way for cycling now. It is time for companies to get in low and grow with the comeback, these companies can help provide incentive to move forward.

We will see where the leaders in Cycling and the Governing bodies take us, will they make quick work of the clean up or will their egos get in the way.