I would like to suggest one possible simple step in the right direction
for the fight on doping.
day I read a new story on an old problem. Doping was, and may still be
rampant, in pro cycling. Everyone gets that.
not Lanceís fault. Itís not the UCIís
fault. Itís not USADAís fault, or any other one
person or one cycling groupís fault. Itís basic
human behavior. At some level, everybody lies. Managing that temptation is one of lifeís greatest challenges. Teaching those who are younger and less experienced than you to do the right thing is one of lifeís greatest responsibilities.
Please consider viewing our latest documentary episode of RACE DAY - The
Series.†(See synopsis below.)
I hope itís entertaining and I think you will enjoy it. More
importantly, I think it will help us spread the word about one possible
answer to the doping problem: Teach
the next generation of cyclists the right set of values, morals and
decision making skills so they can make the right choices on their own.
Every major American cycling
star who has been caught has the money, connections, and ability to do
this. Even helping one or two of the young riders in their home town
will make a difference.
I had my first personal experience with doping in the biggest NRC
criterium of the time in America in 1989. I was in the winning
breakaway with five other guys who were all proven world-class riders.
It was my first year as a pro and the average speed of the race was
right around 31mph. In the closing laps, I watched one of the guys in
the break simply ride away at 32-34mph and win solo. The rest of us in
the break did not stop chasing and we did not catch him. After the
race, I asked one of my breakaway companions (who had won huge races in
Europe and the USA), ďHow is that possible?Ē He
simply replied, ďOh, heís on the
program.Ē After a bit more questioning, I understood. My
immediate and overwhelming response was, ďF#&* - That
Ė Guy! Iím going to train harder, race smarter,
build a better team and beat him anyway.Ē
I stood on the podium of more than 300 Pro 1-2 races in my career and
in well over 100 of those I was on the top step. How many of the other
200 or so races was there a doper on the top step above me? I donít know. I donít care. I raced clean. I knew I did, and I knew those who didnít knew they didnít.
Thatís all that mattered to me.
The moral of the story? All the way back to the mid 80ís when
bike racing became a real sport here in America, everyone who was
anyone in the sport knew about doping. I was there and Iím
telling you, EVERYONE knew. Each rider had to make a conscious and
moral choice to do it or not do it. And the word on the street was if
you wanted to have a career in Europe, let alone a winning one, you
probably have to be on the program because most of the riders there
were. Now, not every single rider who ever raced over there did drugs.
Thatís not true. Thatís never been true. But,
almost every single rider knew what they were up against. Those were
the rules. If you race, you race against dopers. Do it, or
donít do it. But, donít cry about it.
I hope now we can change the rules.
Finally, I know this episode promotes our program and our sponsors, but
I think they deserve it. In the current cycling environment, if you
want to keep companies who are still behind the sport interested,
itís important to give them exposure for doing the right
Writer/Director Ė RACE
DAY - The Series
The Hard Road
the movie Ė prothemovie.com
Former Associate Editor
Ė Bicycle Guide
Current USA Cycling -
Masterís National Criterium Champion
In 2003, filmmaker
Jamie Paolinettiís gritty cycling drama†The
released to the world. The story followed a group of young professional
cyclists as they sacrificed everything to follow their dreams. The film
instantly received international critical acclaim and won numerous
awards, including being named ďTop 5 Documentary of the
YearĒ by DVD talk.†The
since played in film festivals and screenings all over the world and
continues to be a†cult classic†in the cycling
Now, ten years later,
amidst cyclingís post apocalyptic Lance Armstrong remains,
Jamie, teammates from The
Hard Road, former
Masterís National Champions and a group of committed sponsors
attempt to mentor cycling's next generation of young aspiring pros
through the potential pitfalls, challenges and rewards of what is one
of the most difficult and tumultuous sports in the world.
committed young athletes and help support them in their perilous
journey for respect and redemption of the sport they love in our
on-going FREE monthly documentary series,†RACE