(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland
You all know the news by now. Lance, the Great American Bicycle Racing Hero of the modern era, has given up his defense against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and they in turn have stripped him of all Tour de France and other titles. Lance said in his official statement he wanted to end the “witch hunt” and called USADA’s actions a “pitiful charade”.
Are you shocked? Happy? Sad? Relieved? I’ve heard mixed reactions so far, and I too have conflicting feelings about this. Is it possible to maintain respect for what Lance did, even with the dark doping cloud that will always hang over his achievements. It’s not like you can just shoot up some drugs and everything comes easy. You still have to put in the work and sacrifice (especially when everyone else around you is doping). But does the act of choosing to dope and the potential cover-ups to hide it, wipe away all that heroic cycling?
For me, the main feeling is relief. I’m just glad that (I hope) this chapter in American bicycle racing might finally be over.
How about you?