But there are also heroes. Christian Vande Velde is one, Mark Cavendish is another. And there are many others, some whose names you will know and others whose names you will never hear or see but who will be on their own heroic journey through the hardest race in the world. These men, and boys, are the biggest victims of the dopers because their names are sullied simply because they are sharing the same profession and taking part in the same event. That is not fair.
He cuts to the tragedy of the doping scandal. Its good to see that the officials are catching the dopers - hell its certainly better than the alternative - but still at the end of the day people - people who we've marveled at them pulling amazing performances out of their ass - are cheating. Its demoralizing. It engenders a skepticism in every performance. Every time we get up out of our seats and yell GO GO GO at a mass sprinit something sneaks into the back of our head wondering if the guy who's legs are bunring like hell to win the stage took something to give him a little edge over the guy a 1/2 a wheel lenght behind him.
Simply it just makes the race less fun to watch.
Fortunately it seems to happened pretty early on and the officals seem to be on top of it. Even better for us on this side of the pond, Vandevelde the other American riders and the American teams are performing well. I'm partical to Garmin/Chipotle, but boy is it fun to watch Kirchen in those crappy baby blue jersey to tear things up. Or Cavendish stomp on it at the end. And Vandevelde watching him hold third and wonder whether he is going to be able to deliver in the Alps makes the ride really exciting to watch.
Lets just hope the worst of this is behind us. I don't want to have to turn the Tour off before Paris. I did that last year when Vino sucked the heart out of my ride. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be cheering through Paris. Hopefully some shithead won't ruin it for me.
Read Millar's article. He puts things in the right perspective.