18 October 2012

For effect

So do you think Patrick Dempsey will show? Do you think the "untold story" will really be told?

The past week has been very ... strange ... in the world of cycling. I was sitting in a hotel room in Santa Fe, NM, trying to contort my body enough to get a clear internet signal on my micro laptop, when I read the news. Oh, boy. And now here we are a week later.

This isn't the first time cycling has been "brought to its knees." But I would say it's certainly the worst. The scale is bigger -- when l'affaire Festina happened 14 years ago, French housewives, Swiss milk cows and Belgian handymen were really the only ones deeply affected, and everyone got to come back and play on their bikes; this time around, the hypocrisy of the sport's governing bodies; the very, very deep rabbit hole; and indeed the "true heart of a champion" are all being revealed, in a very public way.

You wanna know why I care? Why I've spent hours reading through the decision and the accompanying affidavits? 'Cause of this: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/aug06/USPROcrit06/?id=results/USPROcrit064 As it turns out, Kayle may have been the micro-sized safety pin linking everything together, and when he confessed to a team staffer he could trust, then said "meh" to his landlady who found a box of drugs -- who then called the FDA, gawd bless her! -- Lance Armstrong's world began to crumble. I read through the results list of riders at the bottom of the page and they're not just anonymous names -- they're rivals, ex-teammates, friends. No, I'm not naive enough to think everyone on that list is clean. But I believe at least some of them are, and they were getting screwed.

I'd really like to be smug right now, but the truth is, I hate it that I'm so far into this. If I've learned anything in the past week, I've learned that for the past 14 years, since I quit smoking and got healthy, since I started competing in running and then cycling, I've absorbed a catalog of scientific and corroborative puzzle pieces that are now fitting together. What really went on Inside the Postal Bus? Was it really all just about old wive's tales and spilled salt shakers? When Sheryl Crow sneezed, was that really the signal that "the vampires," the drug testers, were closing in?

The ball of twine continues to unravel, and we're far from seeing the end. The effects will be far-reaching, though I doubt even Levi has a good sense for where it will stop ...

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