Friday, 24 August 2012

O how the Mighty are fallen!

I would like to begin this article with an apology: please excuse me for publishing an article that has nothing to do with the subject matter of this blog, but this is an issue that I could not let pass. Also, I would like to make it quite clear that the following words constitute my own personal opinion and engage no other responsibility than my own. If they lead me into trouble then so be it: I shall stand by them and accept whatever effects – negative or otherwise – that saying them publicly might bring upon me.

I have long been a fan of competitive cycling. On a human level it is a tough sport, perhaps the toughest sport of all, particularly in its ultimate expression, the stage road race: for the best part of a month, pushing those pedals over vast distances, day in and day out, in all kinds of climate conditions, falling off and getting back on again…

Undoubtedly the most renowned of these multi-stage road races is the Tour de France, with its “Maillot Jaune” that echoes Jason’s Golden Fleece. And this morning, whilst sipping my coffee, I have learned that its aura and reputation have once more been sullied and dragged in the mud. To add insult to injury, it has been besmirched by a man who has achieved mythical and almost demi-godlike status, Lance Armstrong. Seven times he went out to conquer cycling’s Golden Fleece, and seven times he prevailed. Seven victories that were deemed even more laudable because the victor had successfully overcome cancer after a particularly tough medical therapy. [...]