This evening, while out for a stroll, two mountain bikers passed going the other way. Decked out in the obligatory Whitefish Hammer kits, they were of course talking about Lance. A cultural phenomenon which needs no last name. USADA’s Reasoned Decision (which is well written and rather interesting reading) has been met with awe and shock by the many different communities who follow Lance. Yet be it serious cyclists, serious cycling fans, casual riders, or simple sports fans and water cooler gossip jockeys, there should only be one thing which is at all surprising: that we are surprised in the first place.
It would take a reasonably informed fan of the sport to know the many details which the report makes so explicit, but we all know Lance (I mean the icon, not the person), and can anyone really say with a straight face that they expected any less? We as a culture want our athletes to win, and Lance is one of the most singular, driven, and successful athletes of all time. How could any athlete in that position do anything else? Had Ulrich been smarter and more disciplined, he would have won more, and part of that would have included doping smarter.
There’s a lot to be sad about in this latest chapter in the story of Lance, but don’t insult anyone by being surprised at the particulars.