Ben, I really don't have much interest in arguing the LA points. I'm just saying that LA is a creation of the environment he grew up in (just like all children are). Yes he grew up, became a man, and became "management" and did what management did while he was growing up as a young cyclist. I'd just like to see various team managers being taken to task. Bjaarne Riis was known as Mr.60% when he beat Miguel Indurain at the 1996 tour. Remember that 40K stage on the snow covered roads to Sestriere where he totally buried Indurain. Then magically when he was running team CSC, he'd take journeymen riders and make champions out of them. Tyler goes to CSC in 2003, breaks a collarbone and magically rides to 4th at the Tour under Riis.
Then next year, Tyler goes over to Phonak and Iban Mayo from Euskatel totally buried an already doped Lance on the Mont Ventoux at the 2004 Dauphine ITT. Do you think it was magic that they guys were buring the doped out King of his time, or do you think that these riders had some help from their team management?
Just in case you don't remember that day, here are the results from Bedouin to Mont Venoux. This was one of the most Epic ITT hillclimbs from that generation....note the Phonak dominance with Tyler, Sevilla, Landaluze, Guttierez, Pereiro, Dessel all the top 20. That's totally wild....and Tyler was smoking the doped chicken Rassmussen by 3 minutes on VENTOUX. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/...4/?id=results/stage4
1 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 55.51.49 (23.202 km/h) 2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.35.26 3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.03.09 4 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon 1.48.44 5 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1.57.89 6 Inigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.22.75 7 José Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.44.09 8 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 3.21.18 9 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 3.33.38 10 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 3.35.81 11 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.55.55 12 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le credit par Telephone 3.59.03 13 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Phonak Hearing Systems 4.03.20 14 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 4.09.14 15 José Azevedo (Por) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 4.18.24 16 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 4.37.09 17 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick.Step-Davitamon 4.44.95 18 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 5.08.52 19 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJeux.com 5.29.49 20 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 5.29.88....so yeah, now that we have Lance can we get to some of the other management that were making the dope game happen?
I'm not saying Lance is the only one; far from it. I'd love to see Riis finally pay for what he did. The team doctors, the distributors, all the team management from any team that required or pressured young riders to dope need to be brought to task. When Lance was winning his last 3 or 4 tours he was in his 30's. That's an adult; and all the dopers who aren't in their very young 20's need to face up to that fact. But there's a differnce between being the boss, and doing what it takes to hold onto a job. And I don't buy for a second that Lance was a creation of the doping era; because there are personalities who are competitive, who want to win, who had the skills to be in Europe, who went home, or raced domestically rather than cheat. Some of them are still around racing domestically, some are coaching, taking over for the guys who made the mess in the first place. Maybe you could go back to his childhood, that's where the person he is was molded; when his mom sat in Greg Lemond's kitchen when he was just in his very early 20's and begged Greg and Kathy to reach out to him because she saw what he was becoming, and hoped they could help him, because she couldnt get through to him anymore.
Beyond lance, the thing you're not taking into account is that the US (and maybe france) are really the only places where this will really get traction to start. Look at Puerto, all these years it finally comes to trial, and Fuentes gets to keep the names to himself from the other sports. WADA is hamstrung by the culture of turning a blind eye in many countries to the sins of their sporting heroes. Even England now, Walsh who so famously dogged Lance all those years, is seemingly falling in line with Sky's "marginal gains" line. I'm not making a judgement either way on Wiggins & Co, i'm just saying that the nationalism gets in the way of a lot. Look at us here with football. Baseball is the only major pro sport really taking things to task; it took Bud Selig a LONG time to become a believer, but when he did. he went all out; Baseball has it's own investigation arm, and they're working that case in florida hard. And a lot of the respected folks in and out of sport, including the ESPN Behind the Lines guys I've talked to say there's no way MLB would feel they had the poltical cover to be moving on this kind of stuff if it weren't for the current climate about doping starting to take hold, and they chalk a lot of that up to USADA v Postal conspiracy.
You and I agree a lot more than we disagree. We both want the same thing; it's just my opinion that you don't see that Lance is still where all this flows through right now. Until he gives testimony that the UCI was indeed corrupt and that USAC facilitated things as well, we won't really see things move forward.