When we were younger, my dad bought a set of racing bicycles, which were used by my older siblings and then eventually handed over to me and my twin-brother. Generally, every Spring/Summer, we biked either to the “Holterberg” (which is the only mountain in the eastern part of the Netherlands) or to the Veluwe. I’m not sure why my dad ended up getting racing bikes, but there was a general interest in the Tour de France: we sort of grew up watching the Tour as it was always broadcast live on television. I slowly lost interest in “the Tour”: this was around the mid nineties, when the American cyclist Armstrong kept winning the Tour and suspicions about doping abuse became more prevalent in the news.
So yeah: I have followed the Armstrong myth for the last decade. That is, even in Europe there were subtle hints that his team and him were just cheating the tour. I was not surprised when Armstrong finally admitted that he used doping (Oprah interview @ the Guardian). I’m sceptic about Armstrong’s motivations to finally open up after two decades: mainly, he has been vehemently denying dope usage since he started winning the Tour. His speech after his last Tour win (2005) perfectly shows what Armstrong is really about. Attacking his critics whenever he could in front of the media (article at the Daily Beast):
“For the people that don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the skeptics, Iâ€™m sorry for you, Iâ€™m sorry you can’t dream big. And Iâ€™m sorry you donâ€™t believe in miracles.”
Technically, he was correct I guess: EPO does do miracles.