Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who is the greatest champion?

Very nice column by Greg LeMond today in the Le Monde! 

Greg starts by reporting what Lance Armstrong said about last year Tour, qualifying it of a sort of 'joke' and questioning how someone like Christian Van de Velde could finish 5th of the Tour. Armstrong recently (and only very recently...) apologized for his words. 

Greg also reminds us that Armstrong also criticized ASO chief Patrice Clerc for how he handled the Tour since he, Armstrong, retired: more positive doping tests.... which is a sign, for Armstrong, that things were going better before he retired. It's actually just a sign that controls have become more efficient. 

Greg then asks: Did Armstrong see the link between Van de Velde finishing 5th and this anti-doping stronger policy led by Clerc? Did he wonder whether it could be that this 5th position is the logical result of removing strongly doped riders from the field? Maybe Van de Velde finished 5th because that's where his natural talent can put him, and he could never express this talent in the middle of totally doped riders...

The last sentence of the column is simple: "Wouldn't the audience and people loving cycling like to know who is the greatest champion, even if his name is so far less known?"

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