Friday, June 1, 2012

Cheaters Never Prosper...

I learned that phrase in elementary school.  It was followed by "cheaters never win." 

In this case, the cheater won, then lost, and then the real champion was crowned.  Behold the hijinx and drama of Tour de France. 

We are T minus 30 days and counting for the official prologue or start of the race.  Twenty two teams have been invited to this illustrious affair.  Among the riders will be the newest champion of this famous race, Andy Schleck.

Scheck finished second in the 2010 Tour, just 39 seconds behind his rival Alberto Contador.  Contador then failed a doping test and upon subsequent review and investigation was found guilty of possessing the  anabolic steroid clenbuterol.  Contador blamed it on "tainted meat."  Hmmmm....

I love watching the Tour de France.  All the pomp and pageantry surrounding this iconic event.  I love the bikes, the kits, the emaciated riders and the behind the scenes coverage.  I especially love the hard mountain stages where Phil Liggett describes the "beyond category" climbs.

But for me, it's getting harder and harder to get past the doping issues that this event brings to light.  I watch these riders surge past their competitors and wonder to myself who is doping or oxygenating their blood or staying one step ahead of the drug testers.  Sadly, each season, one of my favorites get caught and then hangs his face in disgrace.  

I'll watch it though.  I'll switch on Versus after our group ride and catch the final hour of riding.  It's tradition.  And I'll hope for honest riders, fair play, and happy endings -- like Andy's victory yesterday.

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Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

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