I don’t know much about professional cycling but, like many Brits in the nineties and noughties, I was put off finding out more as whenever I approached the sport I found the reek of cheating overpowering.
No matter what Lance has said to Oprah (we’ll know more in 24 hours), the edifice he’s built on his abilities as a sportsman and upstanding citizen has long crumbled to dust. Amongst the ruins there will be still be yellow wristband-wearing votaries picking through the rubble and holding aloft broken pillars such as his ‘work for charity’, and digging at the foundations – he was forced to do it; the UCI made him do it!
We know enough from the eyewitness accounts that most, but not all, professional cyclists were doping; but more that if you wanted to operate in Lance’s team then you were compelled to. The protection racket he built for himself speaks of a narcissistic megalomaniac who exerted such control that he deserves awards for its brazenness and effectiveness. It’s conceivable that if Lance worked in any field he would be a champion; a top-dog with fierce determination who could control others and come out on top.
Because of who he is and the story he has to tell he will make many more millions of dollars from people eager to hear what makes such a special individual tick. His next book will top the charts. Those that toiled away in the lesser echelons of professional cycling during the Lance era will meanwhile continue in their day jobs, pay their bills on time and be able to look their friends and family in the eye.