This week’s announcement that Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven tour de France titles was a huge disappointment for this sport and I believe a real embarrassment for all Americans who have participated and for the most part dominated professional cycling these past 15 years. But, I am not going to go off on Lance…as I have writing in previous posts I believe professional cycling has become a joke sport with no signs of gaining any credibility in the near future.
While riding yesterday I did pretend in my head, that if I were running this sport I would make the following changes starting in 2013.
1. De focus individual riders and focus on the teams instead.
2. Award the top cash prizes to the teams, to be split across all members, vs. individual team members.
3. Ban all pharmaceutical companies from sponsoring teams, riders or races.
4. If one team member is caught doping, then the team is automatically disqualified from all races for the remainder of the season.
And for cycling fans, start rooting for teams, not individuals. In my opinion, it is virtually impossible for any clean rider to place first out of one hundred and ninety riders (the tour de France roster) consistently. This expectation is just insane and I believe is the reason riders to take drugs and such to meet this expectation.
I still watch the races, though not as much as before, and never with any real emotion…but I have faith that some day this great sport will prove itself as one of the very best sports on the planet.