I pass this along only because it is the best article I have read in a long time.
OT: Lance Armstrong, Doping and the American/European Culture Gap
I'm a novice cycling fan, but wondering why the Euro's make such a big deal about Lance and drugs when it sounds like everyone else is doping and it's just accepted?
That is why they make it a big deal, because he won't accept the European cycling culture.
The article explains this well. It's that Armstrong treats the subject very differently with his casual American audience than he does with his European audience. But the focus of European hostility hasn't been on the doping it's on other cultural faux pas that aren't easy to understand without understanding the European cycling mentality. I encourage you to read the article.
Well as a competitive cyclist and being freakishly obsessed with professional racing there is a side of the story that I think should have been covered. Namely: Lance = boring. He focuses ALL of his energy and preparation on the tour. He became so dominant that he never had to attack during the race. Cycling fans love drama and not knowing who will win the race until the bitter end. It was just like oh... yep... another yellow for Lance following attacks and not doing the deed himself. He is a great champion and deserves respect and was great for the sport blah blah blah... but man those last few years were BORING.
Alberto Contador is the anti-Lance. Even though he is just as dominant, he makes a show of it. This spring he was winning races, making monster attacks and giving the fans a treat. He's attacking all the time in the tour. He's even human, he has lost races because he bonked or faltered. That is truly exciting racing.
As for doping to Europeans, the culture is slowly but surely changing. Last year when several riders were booted from the sport, they were booed by fans and cycling greats alike. Yes it is still accepted as a necessary evil, but I think we are making great strides to a clean sport. Now if you could just figure out how many of those pro's really need a medical exemption for asthma medication.....
...you must have hated the 1997 Wolverines.
He didn't say that. He said Lance dominated in an extremely boring way, relying on sheer talent and never attacking or putting any show into it.
I saw this article in my SI magazine (I do get the print edition) and really enjoyed it. I didn't know anything about cycling like that.
Thanks for posting this - sheds a lot of light on the subject.