Change Cycling Now

Our sport needs a change of direction at the professional level. Though the majority of us involved in cycling, in any and all of its forms, will never enter the ranks of professional cycling, most of us are thoroughly entertained by the professional races that we can watch on TV, the Internet and in-person. Sometimes we'll even plan entire holidays around getting to that one "must see" event.

Personally, I enjoy watching the courage of a truly honest effort on the bike, whether it's from a hard-working domestique, or a GC contender. But over the past 10+ years, it has become harder and harder to believe the performances on the road, even before the USADA sh!# hit the fan.

Do you remember when Michael Rasmussen was booted from the 2007 Tour de France at the end of Stage 16? The way he was able to launch attack, after attack, after attack up the Col d’Aubisque to eventually win that day was frankly unbelievable. I remember watching Cadel Evans on that climb, and he totally looked to have simply put his honest maximum into the effort, and looked like a rider absolutely broken at the end.

Rasmussen? Rabobank fired him that day, despite the win, because he had missed out-of-competition doping controls, and lied about his whereabouts. My thoughts at the time? What a sh!#head!

Change Cycling Now Summit

We all have our own ideas of where our sport should head next at the professional level. And I'm sure we all want to see the sport improve from here. But the answers do not lie with either the various anti-doping agencies or the UCI. They need to come from us, the fans, and the sponsors who make all of the professional dollars available to pay riders an honest living. The dialogue needs to start, and it will this weekend at the Change Cycling Now summit in London, England.

On Monday, December 3, the participants, headed by Skins president Jamie Fuller, will hold a press conference to discuss what ideas they've come up with over the weekend. Remember, though, that these guys aren't making any decisions. They're really just an amped-up version of your own group of coffee shop guys, saying this, or that should be done. It's just that these guys are sponsors (like Skins) or have been there, like LeMond, Vaughters, Bungo and Boyer. I think they've got a few more practical ideas to begin the conversation with.

But this is just that, a beginning. Let's digest what they have to say at the press conference on Monday. Then let either the Change Cycling Now group, or another group hold another summit. Then another. It will take more than one. I don't know how many. Let us all pick up the conversation. And then let's tell the pro riders, let's tell the anti-doping agencies, let's tell the UCI what should - no, what must - happen to make our sport respectable again.

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