Tyler Hamilton of the United States, riding for CSC, leads the group during stage 16 of the Tour de France from Pau to Bayonne on July 23, 2003 in Bayonne, France.
Early in the tour, Hamilton broke his collarbone in two places, three doctors told him he could not continue, eventually a fourth allowed it for some French reason. Hamilton not only finished the race but won a stage in a freak solo attack. Famous for his ability to suffer pain, at the end of the tour Hamilton realised that he had grinded down 11 of his teeth to the root and they needed to be replaced.
I highly recommend his new book The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs written with Daniel Coyle. The audiobook version is great!
It’s worth it for the description of Hamilton and Armstrong’s abusive run in a restaurant shortly after Hamilton told all to 60 Minutes. Lance Armstrong is a psycho.
Read this on a tip from Louis Theroux’s twitter, it’s full of good stuff!
Malcolm Gladwell has a New Yorker piece on the book and doping in sports
Hamilton was eventually caught and was suspended from professional cycling. He became one of the first in his circle to implicate Lance Armstrong, testifying before federal investigators and appearing on “60 Minutes.” He says that he regrets his years of using performance-enhancing drugs. The lies and duplicity became an unbearable burden. His marriage fell apart. He sank into a depression. His book is supposed to serve as his apology. At that task, it fails. Try as he might—and sometimes he doesn’t seem to be trying very hard—Hamilton cannot explain why a sport that has no problem with the voluntary induction of anorexia as a performance-enhancing measure is so upset about athletes infusing themselves with their own blood.
“Dope is not really a magical boost as much as it is a way to control against declines,” Hamilton writes. Doping meant that cyclists finally could train as hard as they wanted. It was the means by which pudgy underdogs could compete with natural wonders. “People think doping is for lazy people who want to avoid hard work,” Hamilton writes. For many riders, the opposite was true:
EPO granted the ability to suffer more; to push yourself farther and harder than you’d ever imagined, in both training and racing. It rewarded precisely what I was good at: having a great work ethic, pushing myself to the limit and past it. I felt almost giddy: this was a new landscape. I began to see races differently. They weren’t rolls of the genetic dice, or who happened to be on form that day. They didn’t depend on who you were. They depended on what you did—how hard you worked, how attentive and professional you were in your preparation.
This is a long way from the exploits of genial old men living among the pristine pines of northern Finland. It is a vision of sports in which the object of competition is to use science, intelligence, and sheer will to conquer natural difference. Hamilton and Armstrong may simply be athletes who regard this kind of achievement as worthier than the gold medals of a man with the dumb luck to be born with a random genetic mutation.
Look out for the new Alex Gibney film, The Armstrong Lie, dropping very soon
Who reckons that Lance has advanced hair?
Or maybe he just bullied it into growing back with a EPO and testosterone fueled wave of intimidation.
(Photo: Getty Images Europe)
An aerial view shows the pack of riders as they cycle along the coast during the 145,5 km third stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Ajaccio to Calvi, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. -Reuters via Pool photo
I’ve been enjoying the tour this year, for the first time I’ve bothered to ask questions about the parts I don’t understand (all of it) and it’s been very rewarding!
This dorky doco has some good content… give it a skim
Yes you are a weirdo.
The genius that makes these things needs a damn Pulitzer.
I’d love to get my hands on this new book from Rizzoli, Cinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle
Just prior to the release of Rizzoli’s “Cinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle" last October, Antonio Colombo sat for a rare interview on the occasion of the Milan edition of the 2012 Bicycle Film Festival. As the president of Cinelli since Columbus tubing bought it in 1978, Colombo has overseen the continued growth of Cino Cinelli’s eponymous company—founded in 1948, upon his retirement from the pro race circuit—through the contemporary cycling boom.
Here’s Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong.
Her voice goes weird at points but I think it makes it better.
Just watching it now, if he starts crying I hope Oprah checks his jacket for a squirt bottle full of stolen childrens’ tears.
Check out the absolute psychos who raced in the pouring rain at the 2012 Keirin Grand Prix.
Held at Keiokaku Velodrome, in Chōfu, on December 30th. Matthew Sullivan went.
I love the google translation of the caption:
MURAKAMI RIGHTEOUSNESS KEIRIN GRAND PRIX FIRST VICTORY OF EARNEST DESIRE
Someone’s gotta start a band called Murakami Righteousness
Photo: Koichi Saito
So this guy went into the Keirin instead of the Army. Good one.
Apparently he also married and impregnated his nemesis’ sister. Good one.
Ryokou follows the journey of Shane Perkins from his home in Adelaide post London Olympics to taking residence in Japan whilst competing in the 2012/13 Keirin competition.
The documentary explores the Japanese Keirin as a pivotal part of Shane’s personal and professional growth, in context of some of the major events in his career.
The series comprises of 6 episodes which will be released online in early 2013.