Sunday's downtown Denver time trial saw
George Hincapie race his bike for the final time as a professional cyclist. And
judging by the warm reception he received throughout the Colorado tour, with his name scrawled on the pavement all across the state and some of the biggest cheers raised in his name, he'll be sorely missed.
In 19 years as a pro, Hincapie became one
of the most decorated American classics riders in history, with wins at
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Gent-Wevelgem, and consistent finishes throughout the
spring season, including several near-misses at Paris-Roubaix. He won
three National Road Race Championships, but the 39-year-old will probably be best remembered for his Tour de France performances, completing a record 17 races and guiding
three leaders (Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, and Cadel Evans) to nine
She sold her SUV for a six-kid cargo bike. Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland
It’s that time of the year again. Time to buy the kids new shoes, despair over what to pack in the lunch box, and fantasize about a different kind of future, one in which more children in more towns across the country are able to ride their bikes to school.
Well, make that more people riding bikes, period.
On pretty much every level—from rising obesity levels and carbon emissions to dwindling energy reserves—cycling just makes sense. According to the non-profit advocacy group People for Bikes, for every mile you pedal instead of drive, you cut one pound of carbon dioxide pollution, and three hours of riding per week reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by half. Adolescents who ride are 48 percent less likely to become overweight as adults. Cycling’s good for our health, and the health of our planet. But to make it possible on a large scale, we need bike-friendly infrastructure. And that takes money, will, and major vision. That'll take a bike revolution.
Garmin's Christian Vande Velde prepares for the fight. Photo: Rcrhee/Flickr.
They may not be fully in the pole position going into the sixth of seven stages in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but Team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda has shown that it is prepared to drive. Over the past week, Jonathan Vaughters' argyle underdogs have not only dictated the tempo and terms of almost every stage of its home state's tour, but it has picked off three of five wins and simultaneously slid all-arounder Christian Vande Velde into a dead heat on the overall. And with the race's penultimate stage finishing in their home town of Boulder, Colorado, the team is extra motivated. "Every race we do is important," Vaughters told me on the eve of Stage 6. "It's just more fun in front of a home crowd."
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is
enough.' For me, that time is now," said Armstrong in a statement. "I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since
1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year
federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's
unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and
my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today—finished with this nonsense."
The New York Timeshas reported that, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, Armstrong will be stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles, his Olympic bronze medal, any titles and awards he earned from 1998 on, and that he will be banned from the sport for life.
That's technically true, but it's a bit more complicated than that, as has been explained by the Associated Press and The New York Times this morning. The International Cycling Union, which has engaged in a bit of a turf war with the World Anti-Doping Agency in the past, said on Friday morning it would like the USADA to hand over "a reasoned decision explaining the action taken." In other words, they want to see what evidence the USADA has before announcing that they will strip Armstrong of his titles and awards. Once the USADA formally files sanctions against Armstrong, it is up to the International Cycling Union and the individual events to enact the USADA's actions. They are bound to do this under WADA rules, but they can also file an appeal that could go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. The court could give the International Cycling Union jurisdiction to rule on the case, or enforce the decision made by the USADA.
Armstrong has been given a wide platform to sound off, and his full statement has been published on Outside. Below, we've listed the responses of other parties involved, from doping officials to reporters and columnists who have covered Armstrong for much of his career.
Lance Armstrong released the following statement on his website on Thursday, August 23. In it, he explains his decision not to go to arbitration and fight charges brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Austin, Texas—There comes a
point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For
me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and
had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the
past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal
investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt.
The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and
on me leads me to where I am today—finished with this nonsense.