February 2013

By Graham Jones
CyclingRevealed Historian



Also See:

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The Big Question is... HOW?

We have all struggled in our own way with the explosive developments in Pro Cycling of this past year. Endless "experts", wanna be experts, arm chair experts, and hordes of others have been weighing in on what is truly a sickening story. The fabric of our sport has been ripped to shreds. Going back sixty years (or more…!) every notable rider now lays under a cloud of suspicion. The media blitz has been numbing. Most of 'blitz' is hard to read and digest. Much of it is based on hearsay and fiction posing as facts.

However this past week three articles certainly grabbed my attention:

  • Dr. John Hoberman of the University of Texas in Austin names and paints an incredible history of corruption and collusion (not just in cycling).  Read the extensive Velonews interview.

  • Graham Watson produced a pathetic defense of Armstrong because he, like so many others, made a very healthy living from the 'great champion' and his teams. Read more.

  • Fast Eddy from Flandria Café wrote a piece about Andre Tchmil’s quote “Europe has become a victim of UCI policy” that basically summed up what is now popular sentiment concerning the UCI.  Well worth reading.

Everyone is screaming for McQuaid’s and Verbruggen’s blood together with a total overhaul of the UCI. I have little faith that anything will happen. The foxes are going to remain in charge of the hen house. The cycling masses have no direct say whatsoever in the appointment UCI's senior management team. It will take a mighty effort to dislodge the ruling elite and their henchmen. How come we can impeach a President but cannot remove the head of a corrupt sporting organization?

I first set out on a club ride in 1958. Since then I have been a club rider, raced, toured and been an avid fan of pro cycling. But right now it seems that I look back on a lifetime of denial. From Tom Simpson to the very present time I have lived through cycling’s drug related scandals.  I tried to convince myself that it was just a few people doing the bad stuff; “Always” I continued to believe that the 'greats' were truly great.

There is still nothing to beat a good bike ride. Club runs still exude a very special atmosphere. And in spite of everything I eagerly look forward to the coming spring classics and the Grand Tours along with all the other great races in between.

With all due respect to the rest of the world, Europe is the cradle of cycling. The erosion of famous race names must stop! Destroying the European race calendar is nothing short of ripping the heart and soul out of bike racing. The World's in Qatar! The Tour of China! Let them have races in any place they like, but don't allow the UCI to mandate that the elite pro peloton must race them all.

Sadly I no longer feel motivated to write about our great sport. No matter where I look I am now filled with doubt. In fact I feel with every word that I am just contributing to a great lie.

Turning away from the sport will not help repair it. Guys like us who know it and its fabulous history intimately are needed to help rebuild and restore.

The big question is - HOW?

Email: CyclingRevealed@yahoo.com


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