In a little less than a week, nearly all eyes in the cycling world will be on London as the Tour de France kicks off. London... the very same London that has thwarted two bomb plots in the past couple days and had a flaming SUV ram into a gate of a Glasgow airport in Scotland just today. The timing may be purely coincidental, but many people in the world know of the importance of the Tour and it's impact on London. The Tour starting in London is believed to be worth millions of dollars in tourist spending and countless amounts in advertising for the city itself. It is possible that the start of the Tour was part of the target of the bombers. I am sure, if nothing else, that the Tour organizers are doing some serious sweating right now.
On top of this incredibly frightening news, Jorg Jaksche has come clean about his many years of doping with several of the teams he has ridden for. He is also alleged to be planning to spill the beans and work with WADA and other authorities to expose the doping networks and techniques. It is believed that he is willing/ planning to name names as well. His breaking of the code of silence is welcome news, even if really bad news and press right before the start of the Tour, yet again. Once more, the sport of cycling heads into the spotlight with doping and doping controversies in the headlines. It's hard to swallow and painful to watch, but our/ my beloved sport has to break the cycle of silence, cover-up and deception. It hurts, but it is necessary. I still believe in the power, grace and beauty of cycling and racing and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I will still follow the Tour with total excitement and will report on the day's happenings, just like last year, knowing that it is entirely likely that riders in the race will either be actively doping or have been doping in preparation for the Tour. It's a part of every sport, sadly, but it will hopefully be coming to an end one day- but I know it won't be today. In all honesty, it is precisely this type of drama that makes me happy to be associated with the A&F team. These guys race clean and race with heart and teamwork to win. I am very proud of them and what they continue to do. If the day were to come that one of the riders was caught doping though, Masi's involvement with racing would cease to exist. It's that simple. (Stay clean guys.)
It's a beautiful day today- I hope you're riding your bikes.