Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Saturday, June 30, 2007


"Cycling per se is not fun. It always hurts. The sport is a lot about pain, physical pain. Workouts are the attempt to increase your performance so you won't get dropped. And so it won't hurt so much first there was cortisone, then EPO and today it is fresh blood. Cycling is a difficult sport. A soccer player can run 90 minutes like a fool over the field, but if he scores the decisive goal in overtime he's the hero. In cycling, you get dropped in 99 out of 100 races, even when you give it everything. It hurts, all the time; but you still are successful only a few times."

Cynical about the future, he said, "Of course, no one held my arm for the injection, but team leaders, who got rich off you in the past, who supplied the things, they are now pretending to push for a clean sport... . Nobody liked doping; neither a Stanga nor a Riis... . I was told by one rider that there are deals between some teams and the UCI concerning the training controls. So one has to assume that there is no general change going on. This rider told me that proudly. Then I knew: Nothing has changed."

Jörg Jaksche confessed Saturday to using banned substances and practicing blood doping to enhance his performance.

Jaksche admits taking banned substances & blood doping

I can't really say much or I'll sound naive, but it looks like this dude got the worst of both worlds. It doesn't seem to me that doping is too mainstream in any of the races I've done. If it were I don't reckon I'd have ever thought winning was possible and indeed quite probable.