Category Archives: Cycling

Greatest Sporting Moments of 2012: Longlist

Football: 

Chelsea vs. Barcelona in the Nou Camp; Man City winning the league in the last minute of the season; Spain perfecting football in the Euro 2012 final…

Tennis:

Murray vs. Djokovic (Australian Open s/f); Djokovic vs. Nadal (Australian Open final); Nadal vs. Rosol (Wimbledon 2nd Round); Murray vs. Tsonga (Wimbledon s/f); Federer vs. Del Potro (Olympic s/f); Murray vs. Djokovic (US Open final); Federer vs. Djokovic (WTF @ O2 final)…

Golf: 

Bubba Watson’s shot on the 1st playoff hole at the Masters; Tiger Woods’ chip-in on the 16th at the Memorial; Ernie Els coming from nowhere to win the Open; Europe’s remarkable finalday comeback at the Ryder Cup…

Athletics: 

Mo Farah winning the 10,000 metres; Jessica Ennis’ dominating the Olympic heptathlon; the US women and Jamaican men breaking the 4x100m world records; Farah winning the 5,000 metres; David Rudisha obliterating the 800m world record; Usain Bolt answering his doubters in the 100m final…

Cycling: 

Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France; Wiggins winning the Olympic Time Trial; Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes smash the world record in the Men’s Team Sprint final…

Swimming:

France hunting down the USA in the men’s 4x100m freestyle; Chad Le Clos beating Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly; Ye Shiwen destroying the world record in the 400m IM…

Cricket: 

Kevin Pietersen’s breathtaking 149 against South Africa at Headingley…

NFL: 

Tim Tebow beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on an 85 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas in OT; Giants shocking the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI…

Darts: 

Adrian Lewis coming from 5-1 down to beat James Wade 6-5 in the World Championship semi-final…

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Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

On the occasion of the ultimate, final destruction of the Lance Armstrong myth, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the current reality is the continued, mystifying refusal by the peloton – not to mention Armstrong’s principal sponsor, Nike – to denounce the Texan’s now confirmed cheating.

Fundamentalist blogospheric followers of the Cult of Lance continuing to defend their patron saint are as unsurprising as they are tragic. That the somewhat similar attitude of tolerance appears to be emanating from some of cycling’s high profile figures is profoundly worrying; with Samuel Sanchez and Paolo Savoldelli two of the most high profile names to come out in tentative support of Armstrong today. That Britain’s own Bradley Wiggins failed to offer an unequivocal condemnation of Armstrong on Sky News was also rather unfortunate.

Wiggins’ coronation to British sporting royalty this summer has given him an almost bulletproof status; praised unhesitatingly for being a winner, a hero and cool; rather than questioned for his apparently evolving principles regarding doping. An almost perfect parallel with the near universal and irreproachable acclaim that one Lance Armstrong was previously regarded with, in fact.

Read the transcript of Wiggins’ Sky News interview and notice the outright failure to condemn Armstrong, in addition to the attempt to make the Armstrong era – generation EPO – sound like a distant memory. “A lot of this stuff happened nearly 15 years ago” opined Wiggins.

Well actually no, Wiggins was beaten to the podium by Armstrong at the 2009 Tour. A mere three years ago. Did Wiggins really not know, or at least suspect, that Armstrong was engaged in dubious practices when the American bested him for 3rd place that year? However, much like the occasionally hypocritical practices and positions recently adopted by Team Sky, it is doubtful that Wiggins will be pressed firmly on the issue of how much he knew about Armstrong and when he knew it.

One would be forgiven for expecting an unconditional statement of support for USADA and a denunciation of the cancer still ailing the sport from the Tour De France champion and a formerly outspoken advocate of clean cycling. Where is that rage that used to burn incandescently against those who seeked to destroy the sport?  Where is the flagrant condemnation of Armstrong’s actions from the most recognisable athlete in the sport? Sorry, but we’re waiting and the sport needs this, Bradley.

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