Armstrong won the Tour De France seven times. That’s a remarkable enough feat on its own, requiring an effort and attention to details beyond most people. Now “Armstrong has been accused of being at the centre of the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping conspiracy in sports history.”
I bet Armstrong is quite chuffed at this overdue recognition. Words like “sophisticated” and “successful” are lovely on their own but to have “the most” ahead of them must really bring out the colour in Armstrong’s cheeks. I bet he’s muttering away to himself this morning while he eats his Cheerios.
|(Blurry photo of Lance from Wiki.)|
In an event where chance can play the greatest part, where punctures and break-aways and crashes can occur at any moment, where riders can have strong days and weak days, Armstrong left nothing to chance. He practiced the worst climbs in the worst weather, he gathered around him the best team, and now it appears he had the best doping too. In an era so dominated by doping he can stand proud as being the best prepared, best trained, best doped rider of his time.
Professional cycling is dominated by team management, by people who direct, strategize massage, feed, who prepare bikes and athletes and who decide how these assets will be deployed and when and who to attack and who to support and how. Armstrong stood apart as a cyclist who worked with rather than for his team director, who had the power to bring great riders to his team to ride for him, who was never questioned as team leader, and who delivered them a record seven wins. Some of this can get lost in the achievements so that’s why it’s so nice to see him given full recognition for running such a successful doping campaign, a campaign so good that he still hasn’t tested positive. It certainly makes Floyd Landis, who doped up on enough testosterone to start his own planet, seem like a clunky amateur in comparison.