Now that the Tour de France is over I'm going through cycling withdrawls. It isn't that I don't follow cycling all year long, but there is something VERY consuming about the three weeks of The Tour. It is the most prestigious event of the year. If you are fortunate enough to have cable you get up early to watch the stage live, and then watch the primetime rebroadcast. And if you have nothing else going on that day, you watch the mid-day. The results don't change but there is something inspiring watching these guys race for 4-6 hours over all kinds of terrain. These athletes are AMAZING. They put their bodies through what is the equivalent of running a marathon everyday for 3 weeks. Talk about warriors.
Why am I gong on and on about how tough they are? The sport is hard and is known for being a dirty sport. Cheating and doping are unfortunately part of every professional sport. I honestly feel that cycling has done the most to clean up and keep their sport honest. No other athletes are tested more.
I just finished reading "Racing Through the Dark" by David Millar. This book relates his love turning to disillusionment with the sport and his eventual foray into the doping world. He was caught and banned from competition for 2 years. He talks about how he hit rock bottom and how he learned to love the sport of cycling again. This is one of the most honestly written books about the dark side of cycling.
Since his return, David has been honest about his past and not afraid to talk about it. He shares his knowledge with younger riders and is a great mentor. He joined a cycling team committed to clean racing. I am sufficiently impressed with him.
This is David Millar winning a stage at this year's Tour de France. One of the few times the breakaway stayed away. He will be competing in the London Olympics, despite Great Britain's stance on past dopers.
If you know nothing about cycling I would still recommend this book.