It would appear the the sport of professional cycling has imploded over recent weeks. Every day greets us with a new press release stating a riders admission to doping, a team manager stepping down or a contract being terminated.
So what do we as cyclists do?
Well my first task is to try and defend my sport and hobby to the football fraternaty at work, which is easier said than done. All the negative press is overwhelming and the novice to the sport would not be mistaken to believe that every cyclist out there is tainted; they probably think I’m on something just to cycle into work. After such a successful summer where cycling was the topic of many conversations it would appear the darkness is creeping in and I don’t just mean the colder nights.
I will be honest, the only reason I bought a road bike was after watching an American cyclist climb Ventoux. I was inspired to get out there and try cycling, so in one respect that is a positive for the sport in general. But as each report emerges that idol status demishes, until you are left disheartened and thinking you should have purchased that football kit instead. I’m certain every cyclist will have to face this truth at some point; the one person you look up to in the sport has actually been cheating it from the inside. Kind of makes you wonder about the future.
So where do we go from here?
We keep hearing comments around ‘I knew it was going on’ or ‘yeah everyone knew…’ so why now is everyone suddenly feeling the need to talk or confess? Could this be the house of cards finally falling down to reveal a cleaner leaner sport? Let’s hope so. I think there will still be a few hard climbs left but with more ‘BOOM’ moments but with each one comes a continued effort to show how much better the sport and industry behind it can be. The future now falls in the hands of the current young green riders. People who have joined the new bread of clubs with their transparent training and doping programs. They know the damage inflicted on the sport and loyalty lost by the fans with each confession. They have adopted this new way of taking the sport forward.
Here is to the new riders of a cleaner sport, long may you inspire us and get another generation out there on two wheels.