Every cycling journalist, sports writer and even talk show host Oprah Winfrey have given their opinions of the dark, doped years when Lance ruled the peloton. Hundreds of experts, anti-doping people, federation heads, the UCI, WADA and CNN, you name it.
We’ve all made our judgements on those riders and that time in pro cycling. But we rarely hear the voice of the ordinary fans. Here’s a fan who Twisted Spoke thinks captures the disappointment and sadness; it’s eloquent and honest and sums up the magnitude of the loss.
The following long quote comes from Dave Blass and he posted it on the Hincapie website shortly after Big George admitted to being a big doper. (We used his quote at the end of a Cycle Sport magazine story we wrote on Hincapie’s retirement. After the Oprah & Armstrong show, it still feels like something we should all read.
“I remember watching with tears in my eyes as you (Hincapie – ed) won stage 15 of the 2005 TdF. You, Lance, Tyler, Floyd… you were my heroes. You inspired me to ride, to travel to France, to climb the epic mountains that you all did… and here we are, many years later. Heroes are all fallen, dreams tainted.
I don’t know if your admission makes it better or worse. I believe that it was your hearts that made you all race and succeed, not the PEDs, but nevertheless… the memories of those great events are tarnished. Lance riding through the field, Tyler grinding his teeth down, you battling the cobbles, conquering Saint–Lary-Soulan, or riding over the huge HINCAPIE I painted on Alpe de Huez.
Those were some of my favorite moments in sport — now how should we remember them? It’s horrible what you guys had to do in order to make a living in the sport. But it’s also crappy that a decade of that sport that we love is now lost in the mosh pit of lies and uncertainty.
We’ll never know who won those races or what you all would have be capable of had the wrong choices not been made. That is truly the saddest part of this. You (Hincapie – Ed) were one of the greatest American Cyclists of all time and hopefully you will be remembered that way, however I don’t know how anyone comes out of this clean.”
Chapeau, Mr. Blass.