. . . the short answer probably is most people don’t care.
Firstly cycling isn’t exactly a major global sport (by viewers, not interest) and second nowadays I think most people have started to assume everyone in sport is cheating in some way or other.
So why do I care?
I’m certainly no cycling guru, nor in fact am I the biggest fan really outside of the Tour De France, but I am a massive believer in greatness and more specifically sporting greatness.
Sporting greatness is immeasurable mostly. It can only be measured by the feeling it gives fans, by the records it breaks and by the legacy it will leave behind but mostly by the number of moments BURNED into the back of our minds.
I’ll give you some examples . . .
Michael Schumacher’s victory at the French Grand Prix title in 2002, Schumacher’s fourth career win at the Magny-Cours wrapped up another world title for the him with SIX RACES remaining in the season, marking the earliest point in the campaign a driver had ever won the season.
Schumacher racked up an amazing 11 victories in 2002 and finished on the podium in all 17 races.
When Michael Jordan used to step onto the court no matter the game, opponents used to shiver. The reason was, the bigger the game the better he would play and the more he would dominate, destroy and humiliate opponents. He was the first sportsman I had ever watched who seemed like he was possessed by a greater power – it got me hooked.
He won unprecedented titles and he did it by grabbing his team mates and dragging them to greatness with him, by doing things like this . . .
The amazing thing is most people see a highlights reel here – the truth is most of the shots where at the final buzzer to win trophy’s. How many people do you know who can do that?
Finally there’s the more recent TIGER WOODS. He turned pressure moments into a profession (pre-fornication of course). He quite literally demolished the game of golf in his early years, so much so that course designers had to lengthen pretty much every professional hole out there.
He would either come out of the gates firing or blow past every competitor in the field, or he would lie in wait in the shadows and start to make his move up the leaderboard on the final round. It caused a reaction similarly to when you hold a blowtorch to a candle – everything around him would melt into ordinary insignificance – it was beautiful!
And he does it time . . .
Why do I go through these heroes?
The answer is simple – Lance is one of them. He sits at the divine sporting table with few more than twenty sportsmen and women from history and he probably more than most deserves to be there. I mean sure, Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team, Tiger wasn’t allowed to play in some ‘all white clubs’ but LANCE HAD CANCER FOR F*#KS SAKE!
The man overcame death and then won the Tour De France more times than any other human being while uttering the words “When I feel the worst pain, that’s when I get up and push my feet into the pedals as hard as I can because I want to see the face of my nearest rival when he sees me at my most hurt fighting as hard as I can – that must destroy him”
I don’t know whether or not Lance did anything illegal BUT the fact that 500 tests later and not one positive one, or the fact that all the idiots who have condemned him have all tested positive has got to mean at least we give a man like this the benefit of the doubt!
The fact is the world needs legends – the world needs Lance and needs to believe that some people are capable of the superhuman – we need to believe that we can hang our hopes on icons without the fear that they will be destroyed – WE NEED TO BELIEVE LANCE!