Across the world, brimming with confidence & the arrogance of youth, athletes start off with the belief they can be at the very top of the game. But in cycling they also contend with the extraordinary achievements of one Lance Armstrong aka the Lance Effect. An effect that flames many a young cyclist's dream when they start. And quickly burns most through the lure of doping.
Yes, professional cycling is a demanding sport. It's also the most tainted, with smart doping turning mules into thoroughbreds. And rushing fading champions onto a rapid downward spiral, whilst they vainly hold on to that ephemeral high of a podium finish.
But, time and again, sports reveals Great Champions. One such is cyclist David Millar, who's seen the highs and lows first-hand and now helping to save this tainted sport. I admire his courage to come clean, and being candid to say he didn't have the courage to give-in but choose to be caught through carefully planted evidence.
If you have 30 mts to spare, listen to this fascinating BBC interview:
For years Lance Armstrong and the USADA have been playing catch me if you can in public. On August 23rd, Lance Armstrong dropped his fight against doping charges citing the toll it's been taking on him and his family. This to me is a sad development. The media has gone to town, but the only one who knows the truth is Lance Armstrong.
I still admire Lance for all that he's achieved under difficult circumstances, and he has my benefit of doubt. But if he's been too clever, he's done more damage to cycling and the lives of many a young cyclist than good. The day this is true, my respect for Lance will cease.