No picture worthy or warranted
Sheboygen Superweek Stage of 2007. Coming around corner four in the torrential downpour with only 5 laps to go the announcer tell the 26 or so riders that are left that "USADA is on site and will be testing the winner and randoms." This race was a spooky one that kept you in pure focus. But, upon hearing that I smiled. See, there were a few guys in the race that maybe needed to visit with USADA. One such man has escaped the clear and honest scrutiny of the USADA, Kayle Leogrande.
Now, I know some of you love this man because he simply does not look or act like a typical cyclist. He has tattoes up and down (which is perfectly fine in my books, he owns a tattoo shop, rides for Rock Racing (which I have stated in the past as saying that I believe that Michael Ball is actually good for the sport [Hey, he took a chance with us]), and that Kayle can come from the back to take on the front for the win.
The problem is that he keep producing doping tests that are suspect. Well, Superweek, his nervousness, balls-worthy testimony from team staff, and the USADA's non-stop approach on suspected dopers finally took him down. In more ways than one. Kayle was given a two-year suspension from racing last week.
This was the same Superweek were I heard two USA Cycling referees states that Kayle is amazing, look at his legs, he doesn't even look like a cyclist. I remember that my teammate and I laughed about that statement and then threw questions marks over our heads for even wondering why the officials were so naive.
I cannot speak for Kayle or anyone else who is or has been caught doping. They do it for their own reasons on their own accord. It is a selfish act that only takes their own person into account. All the other clean racers are the one's who suffer, the sport suffers, the competetive spirit and the image of our sport suffers. And in the end, it is not just the guilty rider who is sanctioned, but all of us.
It is a selfish act.
Passion for the sport, respect for my body, earned accomplishment, understanding that this is not an "I" sport. Perhaps these are just a few reasons why I have never, and would never, consider using performance enhancing chemicals. Again, I speak for myself on myself. What you do is your business in the sport, just don't make it the business of the rest of us who are truly passionate about the sport of cycling.
My blacktop roads are now ice-covered, salt-ridden, slush-bombed, hell-holes-of-a-mess. Any hopes of clean riding exist down south, not here. Put into place the Minnesota is 5 billion in the hole and we can expect limited snow plowing efforts for 2008-2009. So, the weightroom has been my friend and my back's enemy once again. The fluid trainer and I are back on speaking terms after a solid year apart, and perhaps the six weeks off have created a motivation I have been seeking for some years.
Anyhow. happy holidays to you all, Eggnog is an odd item, Bob's mini candy canes rule the earth, and my credit card has went purposely missing. In the end, I absolutely love living in an area where I do get to experience all for seasons. Good for the body, good for the soul. Good for some rest. Ciao -Ian