Every now and then the stars align and a brand will rise from relative obscurity to consummate “it” brand of the day. BMC bikes have been around for years, but when the company began sponsoring a team with a heavy American contingent, stateside sales took off like a Bugatti Veyron in the hands of a 16-year-old.
The Swiss brand didn’t overhaul its line to appeal to Americans. All they did was hire George Hincapie, Cadel Evans and a few other Anglo-revered riders. Those riders mount either the company’s top-of-the-line Impec or the Team Machine. The Race Machine comes from the same molds as the Team Machine. The two models are differentiated by weight and rear triangle stiffness, with the Team Machine getting the more compliant version of the stays. Like many of the company’s previous designs the Team and Race Machines feature tubes with a great many angular profiles, chamfers and bevels. The frame looks like something out of a 1990s sci-fi film.
But while I couldn’t make sense of the tube shapes early on, I was hearing from a number of friends who had purchased one of the various BMC models just how much they enjoyed the bikes. Depending on the build, the bikes I was seeing weighed in the 15- to 16-lb. range—not ultra light, but not beastly, either.
The roots of this review began with a brief test ride of a Team Machine at Interbike last fall. My sense then was that the handling was sharp but not to the point of twitchy and the road feel of the bike was muted, taking the sting out of the road surface without feeling dead.
My 57cm Race Machine weighed in at 15.5 lbs. It was spec’d with a SRAM Red group (complete except for Force brakes) and Easton EA70 wheels, plus Easton EC70 carbon bar and EA70 alloy stem. The frame demands a proprietary carbon fiber seatpost. I didn’t have a chance to weigh the frame alone, but given the bike’s overall weight and the fact that it would be easy to shave weight with a lighter set of wheels, lighter bar and stem, plus a few other minor touches, I think one could break 15 lbs. without any drastic acts.
According to my contact at the company, the Race Machine is meant for riders who aren’t spending six hours in the saddle day after day. Not a bad idea given that describes … most of us. Their reasoning is that shorter group rides and racing criteriums demands a bike that will deliver the utmost in performance (rhymes with stiffness) when accelerations can’t be compromised by comfort.
On the road, I expected a bike that was going to beat me up. I’ve been on some stiff bikes and if this was their stiffest bike, a frame so stiff that guys like George Hincapie were choosing a more compliant bike for their racing, I figured I might lose a filling or two.
I’m pleased to report that I have yet to schedule a meeting with my dentist. Yes, the bike is stiff, but on rides between 70 and 80 miles, it wasn’t so stiff that I regretted taking it out. It’s probably not the choice for anyone doing double centuries and the like, but how many bikes are?
The Race Machine had some surprises for me, though. The geometry really wasn’t what I expected. As bike companies have come to embrace the idea that road bikes can come in more flavors than just racing and time trial, many have sharpened the handling of their most race-oriented bike in order to make room for a grand touring bike. BMC has not done this.
On paper, the Race Machine (and by extension, the Team Machine, as they share molds) may be one of my favorite all-around road bikes. My 57cm frame featured a 57.5cm top tube, a slackish 72.5-degree head-tube angle, a 40mm-rake fork, a steepish 73.5-degree seat-tube angle and an 18.8cm head tube. On paper, it’s one of the better-fitting frames on the market for me. A pinched nerve in my neck doesn’t permit me to achieve pursuiter-like positioning anymore and while I’ve had some concerns about keeping enough weight on the front wheel for descending, I’ve managed the transition to the higher bar position with few challenges. With a head tube this long, I end up with fewer spacers between the top cap and the stem (it’s possible that I could ride this with no spacers between the top cap and stem). The top tube length was nearly ideal for me, as was the steeper-than-usual seat tube; my femurs are half the length of my leg and I usually end up with a saddle fairly forward on the rails, especially if the seatpost features a lot of setback—a lot in my case being anything more than a single centimeter.
Next up: Part II.
Editor’s note: The days are long and for some, the exploits that come this time of year are longer, and perhaps a little crazy, too. And there’s the itch for the start of the Tour de France. If there’s a man who knows crazy in cycling, it’s Les Woodland. The following is an excerpt from Woodland’s book “Cycling’s 50 Craziest Stories” (McGann Publishing).
The French word canicule means oppressive, stifling heat when the air is thick and refuses to move and dogs can’t raise the energy to scratch themselves. There was just such a day in the Tour de France of 1935, when the riders faced a long hot 17th day from Pau to Bordeaux. The speed was as low just 13 mph as their spirits. Men just rode without talking, their legs as dead and listless as their minds.
And then, like men in a desert, they saw an unbelievable sight: ahead of them, waving to them temptingly, were rows of spectators behind tables laden with cool beer. In adventure films the mirage disappears and the oasis turns out to be no more than more burning, featureless sand. But this time the cold drink didn’t shimmer into thin air. It stayed on the tables. Or rather, it passed into the spectators’ offering hands and from them to the reaching hands of the grateful riders. The slow-bicycle race of the Tour de France had come to a complete and unscheduled halt as riders downed drinks and some loaded the pockets of their thick woolen jerseys with more.
Only one rider decided he wasn’t thirsty enough to stop. His name was Julien Moineau, which means “sparrow” in French. The bunch had forgotten about him in the clammy heat and the misery of their jobs but if anyone had cared to remember he would have recalled that Moineau had been the centre of both interest and ridicule at the start of the day. He had turned up with a 52-tooth chainring, common these days but unheard of then. Seeing the other riders stop for beer, he pulled on his gear lever, shifted his chain on to this monstrosity, turned it as hard as he could and won the stage by 15:33. He even stood by the finish line to toast the bunch with a beer as it followed him in.
As well he might. He had organised the stunt himself. The generous beer people with their roadside table were all his friends and he’d asked other friends in the bunch to help delay the race as much as possible. He wasn’t a total no-hoper because he came second in Bordeaux–Paris in May 1935 and third the previous year and fourth the year before that. But his beer-stained win in the Tour de France was the highlight of his career. He died in 1980 when he was 69.
We’re still two weeks away, but screw it, let’s start talking about the Tour de France. Of course, the easiest topic to blab about would be Alberto Contador’s presence in the race thanks entirely to delays in his doping appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!
The next most obvious subject would be the reprisal of the Contador v. Schleck rivalry. As I type these words, A. Schleck is storming up a hillside in Switzerland in desperate pursuit of climbing form for the Tour. BUT…since every website and magazine even tangentially related to cycling is going to be thrashing this story like an original Vision Gator skateboard, let’s leave it to them.
No, what we have in mind this week is surprises. Like Pieter Weening in the Giro, or 2006 Thomas Voekler. Like the end of the Wizard of Oz (spoiler: it was all just a crazy dream). Or like Mark Cavendish giving a measured, reasonable response to an interview question. What we want to talk about is who we think has a surprise in store at this season’s Grand Boucle.
Allow me to inch (centimeter) my way out onto the proverbial limb. I believe Cadel Evans will win the Tour de France. More than one French rider will finish in the top ten.
See how easy that was. Bold (read: stupid) predictions. That’s what we want.
It might be important to recognize that predictions are usually born of wishes, but then that might not be important at all. For instance, I pull for Cadel Evans, not because he looks like an elf/troll hybrid or because he, like me, loves his dog, but because his name (first and family) is as Welsh as male voice choirs or high quality coal, and my forebears are Welsh, too.
Thus am I able to draw a straight line between my tribal fealties and cycling nerdery. As for the French riders approaching the podium, this is simply a wish on my part for France not to get too discouraged about cycling. They had the decency to invent bicycles and then set up all these races for people from virtually everywhere else to win. We should at least let them sniff the podium, right?
Now let’s see you do the trick. Tell us which bit of unexpected we should expect to transpire and why you think it will happen.
Image: John Pierce, Photosport International
There is a little man who sits at a control panel just behind my eyes. He wears a helmet, because the going often gets rough. His panel is littered with knobs and dials and gauges, like a Jules Verne submarine or a ’50s era space rocket. He has a hard job, that little man.
When the rubber meets the road (or the trail), you rapidly lose control, even of those things you previously thought fell firmly within your bailiwick. It is easy to see that the exigencies of climate and topography lie beyond your purview. It is sometimes harder to admit that you don’t entirely run the show, even within the confines of your own skin.
I learned this most recently while running up Haystack Mountain in Southern Vermont. The steeply-pitched, loose-rocked trail runs 2.5 miles to the summit, from which one can see much of the valley behind Mount Snow, a popular local ski hill. I expected to hammer for half-an-hour, see the pretty view and then amble down at a brisk jog.
It is hard to run up hill over loose rock, so I was pretty well in the red the entire time, my breath ragged, my footing unsure, the little man at the control panel barely able to keep the ship going in the right direction (up) as I quickly lost control of things I formerly might have said were well in hand. The function of my quadriceps. My balance. My max heart rate.
This is the fertile land tilled by sports psychologists. How do you maintain control when all the gauges run into the red, when oil pressure drops, when the tires go flat?
When you are on someone’s wheel, catching your breath and plotting your next move, you are in the flow of things. You are managing your resources well enough to get strategic about what comes next. Sports psychologists specialize in helping you make those same sorts of decisions when you are decidedly NOT in the flow of things. They help you get the little man comfortable in his chair.
In my upward struggle, I found it necessary to shut down certain systems so as to shift resources to others. I stopped trying to see anything other than my next foot step. This is akin to, on a long steep climb, staring down at your slowly churning cranks or just off the front of your wobbling front wheel. It narrows your focus enough that you can bring in other types of sensory input. I have, on particularly brutal climbs, both on foot and on the bike, been able to move the workload from one muscle group to another in order to recuperate while still making forward progress.
Pedal with your ankles. Run with your hips.
Breathing is an autonomic function (i.e. your reptile brain does it for you most of the time), but as you approach your maximum heart rate (none of the equations I’ve seen accurately predict my threshold incidentally), your reptile brain stops regulating the breaths and moves into gasp-mode.
If the little man can do one thing for me it is to turn those gasps into regular gasps, so that my muscles are getting measured sips of oxygen rather than willy-nilly blasts that come few at a time and too far in between.
By narrowing my focus to the ground in front of my feet, shifting the workload from quads to hips and back again, and forcing my breath into something resembling a pattern I was able to crest the summit of Mount Haystack in 25 minutes, where I discovered that the top was completely fogged in.
This felt like a triumph anyway, not because I ran up a (small) mountain, but rather because I learned some ways to retain control during peak effort.
We all know those moments where what we’re doing scrambles our thoughts sufficiently that our performance breaks down. This is “blowing up” in the common parlance. As each of us pushes against our limits, this is the real challenge, to keep your head straight enough to be able to manage the strain.
You’re slipping off the back of a pace line, facing the 30 mile ride home alone. Your legs are screaming, or they’ve turned to wood. Sensory input is flooding the control room. It is hard to know what to do.
This is your final frontier. This is piloting the ship.
When we left off yesterday, our hero was waxing less than poetic about the Vamoots handling. If you’d like to see what he was on about, go here.
With a trail of 6.37cm, the Vamoots has roughly a centimeter more trail than many race-oriented bikes for this size. It’s also got a longish wheelbase, but I didn’t have trouble getting the bike to turn thanks to that lower bottom bracket. Compared to a Specialized Tarmac, the BB is 5mm lower. On descents, at speeds between 30 and 40 mph, the bike was calm as a United Nations diplomat. My concern with bikes with this much trail is that while they can be ultra-stable at 12 mph, they can get loose when you get up to 50 mph. I suspect—though I didn’t have the opportunity to try—that would not have been a problem because of the short-ish 57cm top tube, which keeps plenty of weight on the front wheel.
My one issue with the Vamoots had to do with the bike’s trail. Across nine sizes, five different head-tube angles are spec’d, ranging from 72 degrees in the 48cm frame to 73 degrees in the 60cm frame. The increase in angle is only a quarter of a degree at a time. To their credit, they spec three different fork rakes, 40mm, 45mm and 50mm. The issue is that a 5mm increase in fork rake is almost equal to 1-degree increase in head tube angle. The upshot is that trail on the nine sizes jumps around a bit—the 56cm frame with the same head angle but 5mm more fork rake is going to be a sharper handling bike, noticeably so. To offset a quarter-degree increase in head tube angle you only need increase fork rake by 1mm. I’m being picky here, I admit. While the choice of forks isn’t ideal, they get credit for taking a much better approach than some companies that use a single fork rake across six or seven sizes. It’s good, better than some, but not ideal.
It’s a bike, so the issue of weight invariably must come up. I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to weigh the frame alone on this bike. They claim a 56cm frame weighs 3 lbs. Given the bike’s stiffness, that number is unsurprising. I’ve yet to ride a steel bike with that combination of weight and stiffness.
I’ve ridden more than a dozen different ti bikes over the years. I’ve ridden a half-dozen or more Litespeeds alone. The first thing I noticed about the Moots as I rolled from my driveway was how surprisingly stiff the bike was at the bottom bracket. It was stiffer than most steel bikes I’ve ever ridden, most ti bikes, too. Certainly it wasn’t as stiff as the current crop of carbon creations, but this ride is more 7-series than M-series to use a BMW analogy; it’s meant to be comfortable.
Out on the road one of the bike’s most distinctive features was its muted road feel. While some ti bikes allow a fair amount of high-frequency road vibration to reach the rider, the Vamoots was plenty sensitive but turned the treble down on the highest stuff. It’s an understandable approach if you’re going to be on the road for hours riding centuries and gran fondos. Honestly, this bike is perfect for a long day in the Alps.
The Vamoots is the sort of bike that will build a rider’s confidence. It’s stable, yet responsive and stiff without being jarring. There’s going to come a day when my agility has gone brittle, my confidence cheap. I hope to age with some grace, which to me means staying on the bike but dialing back my ambition. While I love this bike today, its relevance as the correct answer to my life will sharpen in 15 years.
What I most wanted to do while this bike was in my possession was to roll from my front door with no agenda. Simply head out one morning with three pockets stuffed with food. No worries about pace or destination, maybe spin through downtown, hit the Mulholland rollers, maybe head up the recently reopened Angeles Crest Highway, the Vamoots would have been perfect on its sweeping bends. Alas, my review bike is a demo that needs to circulate … and can’t spend months in my garage. In their wisdom, they will rely less on my word than your experience. Good plan.
I live in Southern California, and the cycling scene here is unlike any I’ve encountered anywhere else. When I go back home to Memphis, I run across guys on bikes with 9-speed Dura-Ace, which, except for the brakes, is arguably one of the hardiest workhorse groups for the money that was ever produced. Mounted on a Serotta, it’s an assemblage that simply won’t need replacing unless it’s stolen or crashed.
But here in the land of—hell, just what is this place? It’s the ultimate buffet of what America has to offer. From fabulous wealth to poverty that would make even Leona Helmsley weep, Los Angeles is all things to all people, the ultimate dream maker and crusher to 10 million people in 4000 square miles. But the cycling community is bred from an educated, successful lot. Nine-speed drivetrains? That’s the stuff of rain bikes and spare cyclocross bikes. Steel? Definitely not the A-bike. Ultegra? That’s what folks recommend to the first-time AIDS riders.
People turn over their bikes on a pretty regular basis, but it has a curious effect on the riders. I’ll roll up to someone on a group ride and ask, “Hey, how do you like your new Gonkulator?”
“How’s it compare to your old Trek/Specialized/Giant?”
“Well, I’m not sure how to describe the difference, but I know one thing: It made me more excited about riding. I’ve increased my mileage by a third this month, just because I’m not skipping rides.”
That’s the funny thing about bikes; you can keep all the company the same, ride the same roads, probably even go the very same speeds, but a new bike is a new, fresh experience and has the power to reinvigorate your riding. It’s why I fundamentally believe:
Better bike = better experience = better life.
With the flash and fashion of all the carbon fiber creations out there it’s easy to lose a whole material like, say, titanium. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks riding a Moots Vamoots around and found myself wondering why the hell I’m not seeing more of these on the road.
The Vamoots is the cheeseburger of the Moots line. Now, they work with grass-fed, ground Kobe, but the Vamoots is a bike with no surprises except for its quality. It’s the sort of bike you look at whose beauty is so obvious, its function so implicit, that your reaction is to think, “Well, of course.”
The Vamoots is constructed from 3/2.5 titanium; this is the sunny day of titanium tubing: beyond reproach. The 7/8-inch chainstays are as much a signature of the bike’s appearance as its ride quality. You know a Moots by its socks, but more on that in a minute.
While the glowing luster of the titanium recalls days of government surplus and grunge metal, the geometry hails from days hard men with names like Merckx and De Vlaeminck. That’s because the Vamoots is built around old-school grand touring geometry.
This is a bike aimed squarely at those who are unconcerned with what anyone else is riding. Neither the material used to create this bike nor the geometry it is designed around are the least bit trendy.
The Vamoots is available in nine production sizes, from 48cm to 60cm in 2cm increments. And if none of those work for you, custom remains an option. Speaking of options, it’s refreshing to see a bike that offers choices. In addition to a custom fit, you can request S&S Couplers, track dropouts, a pump peg, chain hanger, rack eyelets, fender mount in the chainstay bridge, a third set of water bottle bosses (now that’s a long day!), decal choices, Di2 internal and other cable routing options. Whew.
My Vamoots was a 58cm frame. The top tube was 57cm; that’s 5mm shorter than that found on the ever-popular Vamoots CR. It had a lowish bottom bracket: 7.3cm; that’s 2mm lower than on the Vamoots CR with its decidedly racier geometry. The chainstays were 42cm long; that’s 5mm longer than on the Vamoots CR. And the head tube is 17cm long, a full centimeter longer than on the Vamoots CR. The head tube angle, at 72.75 was a full degree slacker than on the Vamoots CR. Both share an identical seat tube angle of 73. Finally, the fork had a rake of 40mm, yielding a trail of 6.37cm.
Put simply, confusing this bike with a race bike would suggest a need for cataract surgery. Years ago, with chainstays that are longish but not so long as to offer heel clearance for big panniers, a bike like this would have been termed light touring. It recalls the Specialized Sequoia and the Raleigh Alyeska. They were bikes you could ride from here to Mars and not regret the experience. Specialized boss-man Mike Sinyard so loved the Sequoia that the Roubaix is just a 21st-century version of that bike.
Now, that’s not to say you couldn’t get this bike around a crit course. I did some very fast group rides on this and was able to follow the line of riders in front of me, but to do so is to misuse the bike to a degree, like slicing apples with a bread knife.
Tomorrow: Part II.
It was a touch cold to start, but I like it cold. This robot runs firmly on the hot side. We met up at the crack of the crack and rolled out in a Westerly direction as we always do, eventually reaching the more rural bits of the metro-burbs. The places where the farm houses have been gutted and the interior replaced by mansion, where the sweet tang of cow shit hangs in the air and the breeze has room to blow.
Our group ride is of a more casual nature. We start slowly. We chat. We chat more. Occasionally a pace line breaks out, but that’s usually just when we’ve run out of things to talk about.
Because we leave early, we get to watch the day bloom. The sun warms the verges of the road. The volume on humanity increases slowly, tolerably.
It is entirely mundane, entirely accidental, and yet also something of a dream ride. When I think of what I love about cycling, it’s all there: friends, scenery, sun, distance, adventure, comedy, speed. I am, there in the saddle, wholly at my ease.
This week’s Group Ride asks about your dream ride. What is it? Does it include Alps? Does it run down the coastline? Who is there? What time of year? What can you smell? How does it feel?
Make like the Staples Singers and take us there.
Allow me to brag for a moment. When I visit other sites and blogs around the interwebs, I look at the comments left by readers. Some of my favorite sites are read by people who, sheesh, there’s no diplomatic way to say this: Some of their readers suffer from stolen brains.
No, that’s not the bragging part. This is: RKP enjoys the distinct windfall of benefitting from an especially bright readership. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but thank you.
So peloton magazine has joined forces with Cannondale to send some lucky reader to this year’s Tour de France. For a week. Now, the lucky (this time I’m using the term in a faux ironic way, kinda like a fixie kid with a handlebar mustache) winner will allegedly work as a mechanic for a week. Let me tell you: That’s no picnic, so I’m really hoping that’s not how this plays out.
The chance to enter has come and gone, so unless you’ve already sent a video, you’re SOL. So here’s what I’m thinking: Your judgement could sway this thing and prevent some sort of American Idol outcome.
That anyone would produce a video to enter a contest impresses me. Maybe that’s just because I’m fairly remedial when it comes to moving pictures; regardless, I like the ambition. And having looked at the finalists, I do think there’s a real standout among them.
I gain exactly zero net benefit from plugging this contest. As I mentioned, I like that people went to the trouble to produce videos for their entry (rather than writing down their name on a slip of paper 437 times) and in the cases of the finalists, told some personal and interesting stories. If nothing else, each of the entries deserves an audience.
Check them out here.
When I was 10 or 12, my mother assembled a synergy of coupons so powerful that our local supermarket paid her nearly a buck to take home two 4-lb. jars of grape jelly. For the next two years every time I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich it was accompanied by grape jelly.
As an adult, I still eat PB&J, but in my refrigerator you’ll find preserves of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and sometimes, even cherry. I have never purchased grape jelly.
The only thing in the world I’m as sick of as grape jelly is news of doping, so I’m going to try to keep this brief, but I need to address some recent quotes by David Millar.
I think Millar is a stand-up guy. He’s got my respect. When caught, he manned up and took his lumps. He seems to have a much less materialistic and more mature and empathetic life post-suspension. I dig that.
He speaks out about doping issues and particular dopers. I double dig that.
However, he was quoted in the Telegraphe regarding Alberto Contador’s performance at the Giro, saying things that simply don’t make sense. So nonsensical they are that I honestly have been wondering if he has some odd, covert agenda in mind. If true, it’d wreck my opinion of him. For good.
And let me hasten to add, this really has very little to do with Contador. Any rider who delivers a performance such as he did at the Giro and looks that fresh standing on the podium (does anyone recall how wasted LeMond always looked on the podium at the Tour?) shouldn’t expect to escape suspicion.
Here’s what Millar told the Telegraphe:
“Alberto Contador is untouchable as rider, he is a physical freak and we in the peloton have known that for a long time and respect his supreme talent. I would be very surprised if he didn’t end up as the greatest Grand Tour rider in the history of the sport. It’s a tragedy that he has got mixed up in this Clenbuterol thing but I am keeping an open mind on his case.”
“Does anybody out there seriously doubt that Contador was riding clean in the Giro d’Italia that has just finished? You don’t win the biggest races in the world with such clockwork regularity and comparative ease, and in such style, by not being the supreme talent and clean. In my experience the profile of a doper is always much more erratic and unpredictable.”
“The rest of us mere mortals have “magic days” when every so often when we can take on the world. Contador’s default setting is a “Magic day”. His only departure from the norm is when he experiences merely an average day. They are the only two levels he rides at. My strong instinct is to trust that.”
Let’s do this like a geometry problem and lay out our givens:
1) Oxygen vector drugs speed recovery and all but eliminate bad days.
2) Anabolic agents such as testosterone also speed recovery. Faster recovery = fewer bad days.
3) Gianni Bugno led the 1990 Giro start-to-finish. A strong case can be made that this was the first Grand Tour win courtesy of EPO. Pink from start to finish indicates no bad days.
4) If we assume that the various allegations against Armstrong are true, seven victories at the Tour suggest he had no bad days (except for a couple of bonks).
5) Before the age of oxygen vector doping we frequently saw riders deliver a spectacular day at a Grand Tour and follow it up with a stunning fold.
Millar has expressed doubts about Ivan Basso’s 2006 Giro d’Italia win, where he finished more than nine minutes ahead of Jose Enrique Gutiérrez. Is he suggesting that nine minutes is superhuman, but six minutes (Contador’s margin of victory) is merely mortal?
Everything we know about human physiology says that even when you’re at peak form you can’t ride around at threshold for six hours a day for three weeks. Everything we know from our own lives tells us we have bad days, even when we’re not on the bike. Bad days are a normal part of life.
It is within human nature to want to be our best on every ride. We often ride like we believe it’s possible. It’s a hell of a statement of hope. I like that. However, if someone tells you that a rider’s default setting is magic, get out your shovel. That’s not mud around your ankles.
Parenthood changes you. Exploits that used to excite me, such as heading off to the Rockies, alone, for a month, gives me the sweats now. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to ride in the Rocky Mountains day after day for weeks on end, the problem I have is the thought of leaving behind my wife and son.
I snapped the image above at the Tour de France some years ago before the start of a stage in the Pyrenees. I wasn’t yet a father and yet seeing this family together made my heart ache for children who could share my Tourphilia.
These are dark days for professional racing and while I’m concerned about turning pro racers into role models for my son, I’m still comfortable with the celebration that races make of cycling. The problem isn’t cycling, after all. The problem lies within the hearts of men. And I don’t just mean the dopers. The UCI is as much a part of this problem as the riders ever were. After all, the history of doping in the sport shows that the UCI really never lifted a finger against doping unless there was a scandal. And boy, dead riders are the mother of all black eyes.
I look forward to the day I can take my family to the Tour and let my boy revel in the magic that is France in July. No one can ruin that for me, for us.