End-of-season round-table: Issues of the year

In part one of our end-of-season round table, we looked back on our favourite races, riders and moments from the 2012 season, and we saw that it was good. However, the year wasn’t all a bed of roses – there were plenty of thorns too. The second part of our discussion looks at underperforming ‘super-teams’, the conundrum of China and the doping scandals which have shaken the sport to its core over the past 11 months. Continue reading

Lance Armstrong and the USADA

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in a dark cave with earmuffs on, you will have heard by now about the statement issued earlier today by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regarding the findings of their investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. This was followed a few hours later by a meticulous 200-page summary of their full 1,000-page report. Even in ‘summary’ form – we’re still digesting it here, but suffice to say that parts of it read like a Raymond Chandler novel – the evidence and testimony presented by 26 witnesses (including 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates) is as unambiguous as it is comprehensive. At the same time George Hincapie, Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenant, released a statement on his personal website, as did Michael Barry.

Here at VeloVoices we like to express the positive side of cycling fandom, but we are not blind to its harsh realities either. We have previously discussed how we felt about Armstrong’s decision not to contest USADA’s charges against him, but in truth what is important is not what we say on the subject, but what you say about it. In recent months we have brought you Tweets of the Week specials capturing a cross-section of the cycling community’s views in reaction to USADA’s decision to proceed against Armstrong in June and, a little over seven weeks ago, the announcement that he would not call for a hearing. Some of these views we agree with, others we don’t. But what is important is that these are the honest thoughts of fans all over the world who, like us, care deeply and passionately about cycling.

While everyone else is rolling out official statements, we are going to take a step back, absorb USADA’s findings and listen to the depth and breadth of commentary across social media. It’s your voices that matter at a time like this.

For now, the series of tweets below is our only word on the subject. But, like the Terminator, we’ll be back with a round-up of the fall-out from this most significant of days.

Thanks for your patience.

Jack, Kitty, Panache, Sheree & Tim