With the publishing of the USADA case, the drama continues to surge with the documentation of a healthy contingent of American riders admitting to PED use. The web weaves thickly for those who claim innocence, and one thing is for sure: an age of innocence must now be put to bed by everyone.
With Hincapie’s statement: a man said to be one of the sport’s most respected cyclists, there is a real sense of “selection” when, as cyclists call it, one gets dropped on a climb.
Heartbreaking, it is to see the spectrum of comments on his website, where some range as I mentioned from shock and disappointment and others, anger and vitriol. But they represent the spectrum of thoughts to the sport. Much respect to Hincapie’s team for not editing them, because for sure, the discussion is less about George Hincapie, per se, but the era of cycling. It just may be us, the public, that can’t handle the truth.
Anger, understanding, vitriol, support?
I don’t know which response has the most validity. Clearly, Hincapie has been a favorite within the peloton, the sport and mine, personally. That said, even taking into account the statements of Jonathan Vaughters whose op-ed was publicized recently in the New York Times, that a 2% performance gain denies the ability of some–including perhaps one of the Hincapie-commenters pictured in these screenshots. Not to be too quick to claim that fellow’s success, but it calls into question who, early on, got picked to move on into the ranks or, a bit later in the career, go to stay there.
Yes, these guys are talented enough and one couldn’t be a couch potato and suddenly win or even compete at the pro level. But, the other side as we hear in the admissions that came out this week that there is the point where the murky reality revealed itself for these guys, and it occurred to them if they wanted to be grown-ups in this, they had to leave that sense of innocence behind, and I guess, I have to as well.
Fortunately–I guess–I was never paid to ride and allowed to suffer my own racing disappointments with the knowledge that my best efforts wasn’t something that would starve my family. I couldn’t imagine–nor can I really judge those who do. Yet, the reversals, the scandals pick apart at the inspiration I felt watching and recreating in my own rides.