I'm reading, off and on, a book called "Wheelman."
It is the polarizing story of Lance Armstrong,
which documents his courageous struggle with cancer,
his successes in the most difficult bike race in the world, "The Tour de France"
and the battle he fought for years against the public opinion
that he was successful by illegal means.
SPOILER ALERT !!!!!!!
He's a cheat and a lier.
If you have lived above ground at anytime in the past 5 years
you have heard about the accusations that he used performance enhancing drugs.
I figured, before I read this book, that he dabbled in the dark side
possibly to be able to keep on winning these races.
Looking on from a distance,
meaning the 3 minute spots ESPN would dedicate to the story
while Lance was fighting one court battle or another,
that he was looking for that edge that would slow the aging process.
What I have learned is this.
It was much more than a little dabbling.
When Lance Armstrong took his first crack
at the mountains of France during his first Tour de France as a young rider,
the word around the water cooler was this kid wasn't a climber.
He learned very early that if he was going to be successful he was going to have
to think outside the box.
What followed was years of using EPO.
( Erythropoitin )
He started doping before he won his first race.
A person who injects himself with a artificially made EPO substance,
increases his red blood cell count.
The more red blood cells, the more oxygen that is carried to the muscles,
increasing ones aerobic capacity.
What this all means is
if you take EPO, you too can become the winner of the
Tour de France.
Competitors of Lance Armstrong remarked once,
that Armstrong just finished climbing a steep mountain at full speed
for hours and his breathing was almost normal.
They wanted what he was taking.
As I think back to all the sound bites,
of Lance proclaiming his innocence I am reminded
at just how naive I was.
I wanted him to be great.
Lance said over and over that he was the most tested rider on the Tour
and he never failed a test....not once.
Good point Lance.
He sucked me in.
What I didn't realize was that he had this cheating thing
down to a science.
He knew when to stop doping before a test,
he knew how to dope so he wouldn't get caught.
Blood transfusions were the norm.
As great as he was at riding a bike,
he was an even better lier.
here's some birds.....