So, are you paying attention to this year's Tour de France? Yeah, me neither. There are probably Americans riding in it, and maybe even competitively. Does Radio Shack still sponsor a team? How about the U.S. Postal Service? (That was a favorite irony... an organization with a reputation for being slow and uncompetitive, sponsoring a team in possibly the most competitive of all team sports.)
I'm probably like lots of my fellow Americans. Lance, and Greg LeMond before him, provided an additional point of interest in something that had always been quite foreign. We wanted to rah-rah for the home team. And our golden boys - in their yellow jerseys - filled us with patriotic sentiment and probably sold a lot of road bikes. (Huffys and such. haha!)
Then Lance burst our bubble. Turns out we were all cheering for a cheater.
However, more and more it seems that Lance's big peccadillo was "getting caught." Everybody cheats... right? It seems to be part of competitive cycling... at least on the professional level, where lots and lots of money is on the line. You'd almost think the major players have "cover-up experts" who know how the tests go, and can advise the team on how to game the system.
This year, for the first time, I've been reading about a new kind of test... infrared scanning of the bicycles, to make sure they don't have an electric "helper motor" hidden inside the frame. What the?!!? (Of course, if they were secret, it would've been hard for Shimano to sell their Dura-Ace Helper Motor, as used by the Team!)