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  1. #1
    Senior Member bici_mania's Avatar
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    Reflecting on the book "Cycle of Lies"

    I just finished reading the book by Juliet Macur "Cycle of Lies - The Fall of Lance Armstrong".

    As a Texan being full of pride as Texans are, hearing about the Texan that beat cancer to come back and win the 99 TdF I was an instant fan.

    I remained hopeful that Lance raced clean up till the point that it was beyond reason to hold such a view and then I was embarrassed to have been a fan. I have read or heard about cheating starting as far back as the first races, be it in the rural Pennsylvania countryside early in the 20th century or the first occurrences of the TdF. I have read about drug use among racers. Still I had not realized that doping was so deeply intertwined in the history of the sport.

    After reading this book I realize how naive I had been all along, not just about Lance but about pro cycling as a whole. Some of that ignorance was willful but I now feel that I have to wonder if anyone is racing clean or if it is possible to race clean.

    If there are some who are racing clean now, I wonder if it is an explanation for riders who seem to fallen short of their potential in recent years. Perhaps they had been doping but was then scared into racing clean.

    David Zabriskie, Tyler Farrar, the Schleck Brothers and even Mark Cavendish comes to mind. For each it seems that their best years are behind them.

    Watching riders sprint up mountains that average riders would struggle to simply ascend on a bike, leaving other racers behind almost as if they were standing still, it seems unrealistic that they are racing clean. As unlikely as a clenbuteral laced steak resulting in a 'false' positive.

    I would like to think that Johnathan Vaughters has helped to usher in a time of clean-top-level racing but that seems naive. It seems that if there was a sudden wave of clean racing that there would be a corresponding drop in average speed of the peloton.

    I am curious what others think, particularly if you have read the book, what are your thoughts about the veracity or completeness of the book.
    Just roll with it
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    All I can say is thank God for Betsy Abreu, Greg LeMond and Kathy LeMond.

  3. #3
    GATC
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    I think the doping has been dialed way back from superhuman performance to mere mortal performance (since that has now been quantified at about 6.0 kw/kg over 25 minutes tops) but with better recovery for the next day. And strategic bonking for plausible deniability. I don't think anyone who could hang with the dopers but didn't test positive themselves (Andy Schleck, Frank did test positive) can really claim innocence.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I don't think anyone who could hang with the dopers but didn't test positive themselves (Andy Schleck, Frank did test positive) can really claim innocence.
    Maybe I'm not understanding this but if someone rides really well and does not test positive for doping...this is evidence of guilt?

  5. #5
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    A must read: Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur. Spent half my life onsite in Europe (Paris, London, Geneva) and Gulf, so when my wired Jockey Club lawyer, who advises Prime Ministers and knows all the dope, told me at lunch that while French labs were convinced by the science at the time that LA was doping as early as 2000, no one could fight the "fortress of 'monied Americans' who can only win with drugs, armed with a war machine of lawyers." LA was never trusted, and while I defended him for years as I too have had a remarkable recovery from paralysis after firing a top US clinic in MN which treats Kings of Saudi Arabia--I was blindsided.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels, Master Propagandist, Nazi

    Kudos to the real champions who told the truth: Greg Lemond, Betsy Andreu ("Lance Armstrong is a bully. I could not let him win") and the brilliant Irish journalist David Walsh who doggedly pursued the truth, sports journalist at the Sunday Times.

    After reading Cycle of Lies (Wheelmen book recommended too) I rescinded my decision to buy a Trek, given their bullying legal gag order on Greg Lemond when he told the truth about Armstrong, "damaging their brand"––not a company I want to support. My USPS shorts, yellow wrist bands--dumped. Even LA's cancer protocols are not state-of-the-art, but I digress.
    Last edited by MARAIS; 04-02-15 at 08:18 AM. Reason: OMISSION of David Walsh

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Perhaps an even bigger issue is that doping was such an almost accepted part of TdF for so long that the real "competition" seemed to be in the various ways different riders tried to hide the issue.

  7. #7
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I don't mind that he doped, but f'ing over LeMond was beyond the pale. With Lance's wins officially discounted, Greg now shines out as the legend he was and is, but the damage was done, can't be undone.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I don't mind that he doped, but f'ing over LeMond was beyond the pale. With Lance's wins officially discounted, Greg now shines out as the legend he was and is, but the damage was done, can't be undone.
    I agree. What he did to Greg Lemond was proof of what a sociopathic monster Lance Armstrong is.
    Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve. -Popper

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
    I agree. What he did to Greg Lemond was proof of what a sociopathic monster Lance Armstrong is.
    I wonder if this is the same sort of sociopathic drive that some CEOs are said to have... to win at all costs. Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs - Forbes

  10. #10
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Not apologizing for Armstrong but when millions of dollars are at stake it should not come as a surprise that extraordinary and underhanded efforts might be spent in keeping it. So better expect a storm when you take it upon yourself to expose cheating in an environment where cheaters have both the support of the peloton and the blind eye of the sponsors who probably have an idea of what is going on.

    I'm glad the testing procedures have advanced so that it's probably harder to cheat now and I don't think doping is the team effort that it has been. I'll hold my suspicions about some of the competitors for now though.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  11. #11
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    I liked Greg Lemond and felt like he worked hard for everything that he got. His wife was a bit whiny though.

    Armstrong had lots of behavior that I didn't appreciate so I wasn't tempted to idolize him. Just leaving Cheryl Crow would make his judgement questionable.

    I don't know enough about the doping thing to express an opinion and at this stage I really don't want to know.

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