Friday, May 21, 2010

Pippo's Got It Right

“I don’t even know what happened, I’ve been racing the Giro all day!” said stage winner Filippo Pozzato (Katusha). “Journalists only ask about cycling when there is a doping scandal. No one pays attention to the positive changes the sport has made. Cycling is cleaner now than the old days. We have accepted all the rules imposed from us from the outside, unlike other sports. You can see cycling has changed. The riders are more tired, the race cannot be controlled like before, young riders are coming to the forefront. Why don’t journalists write about that?”

Read more in VeloNews.

And he's right. Races are more volatile, performances less consistent, younger riders mixing it up, teams less likely to survive intact and control the race for days upon days. These riders seem more human. And while it may not yield another Lance (not going there... not going there...) it makes for some great, hopefully clean racing.

It comes down to this: 1) Assume all riders dope, have a moral problem with that, and stop watching the sport at its highest levels, or 2) Hope they don't dope, assume that most will, and enjoy the spectacle of racing, hoping your own favorites don't turn up a positive, and hoping to be pleasantly surprised at the decline of rider busts.

Guess I'll go with 2.

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