Friday, August 24, 2012

A Sad Day For American Cycling

AP Photo By Peter Dejong, File

Hello from San Francisco! We in San Francisco moving our son into his college dorm room and get ready for freshman year. Although this is our second child to head off to school, my wife and I are melancholy about another one leaving the nest.

On our way back to the hotel tonight, the news alert popped up on the screen of my iPhone. First, that Lance had decided to not defend himself against the USADA. Shortly thereafter, another news alert that USADA had banned Lance for life and were stripping him of his seven tour titles.

Lance has done a lot to boost the popularity of cycling in the US and, to his defense, he has brought a huge amount of attention and support to cancer research. So, when I heard the news tonight, my reaction was mixed.

See, I first met Lance in 1989 when he was a very brash 17 year junior, taking the cycling scene with talent last seen from Greg Lemond. He had swagger and produced the results to back it up. It was hard to like the guy but you couldn't argue with his results. He talked the talk and walked the walk.

I don't know if Lance is guilty or innocent. However, his willingness to just give up really made me wonder if there is more truth behind the USADA allegations than we want to believe. For a guy who I've seen fight everything he encountered for over 20 years to just give up the fight doesn't make sense. Why quit unless...

No, I'm not going to speculate that Lance doped. I'll leave that to the experts and others with access to proof. But, this is a sad day for american cycling. Lance quit the fight, gave up on something he has vehemently denied ever doing.

Don't let this ruin your enthusiasm for cycling. The sport is a lot cleaner and there are many up and coming talented riders that will take the sport into the next decade.

But there is a lesson in here for all of us. As Jim Valvano said in his waning days of fighting cancer, "Don't give up, don't ever give up." And, from my younger days, a quote I remember: "Winners never quit and quitters never win."

Hope you all have a great week! As always, let me know if I can help you.

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