End of cycling for Merckx

This quote from Merckx says a lot

“This new scandal has left me K.O.’d. Since the start, they talked only of doping on Belgian television. And now, I learn that Vinokourov has played with his blood and that he’s leaving. It might be a good thing. We know now that it’s difficult to cheat and those who break the rules are caught. But, for me, that’s the end of cycling. And, I hope, the start of other things”

Reactions continue (rider protests and Rasmoo was boo’d) and I spoke to lots of people in the bike industry yesterday and the consensus was, “yes, sad, but our market doesn’t care too mich about le Tour or racing and that’s who we’re focusing on.”

With Interbike coming up, the Fall, and another bike season, I expect many are thinking of “other things” than racing. Like, comfort bikes, SUBs, cargo bikes, and the like.

Do you feel like Merckx after this latest scandal?



9 Comments

Who isn’t disgusted with the constant cheating going on? The bike industry people are definitely taking the short view as this will undoubtedly bite them in the ass later. When people look at cyclists and think hippies, dopers, or whatever preconception they have, it definitely hurts the industry as a whole, and some of the effects won’t be felt until a couple of years pass and a new generation comes to regard cycling as a corrupted sport… that is unless you want to build $100 disposable bikes for the commuter and nothing better.

I think where we’ll see it, as we already have, and it’ll cascade down is in major events and sponsorship.

I certainly don’t care if it’s the end of _professional_ cycling?  Just because they happened to use the same two-wheeled machine that the rest of us do doesn’t mean it affects us any.

I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition to have this post about the worst in cycling (doping) next to a post about the best in cycling (Kent Peterson).

Phil, right on and thanks for noticing the contrast. We’re trying to keep it balanced with the bike huggin’ and le tour here. Where, I mean, shit, I go to take a nap and all hell breaks loose. Happened with Vino and now Rasmoo. I take a break and then he’s out of the tour. I’ve got more posting to do, [like this](http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html#4042629593436285211).

I love to watch pro cycling. However, I love riding my bike a lot more. In a few weeks, I’ll have forgotten about pro cycling but I’ll still be riding and loving it.

And after this Sunday, we’re not going to see it on TV 3 times a day either or in the news.

Professional bicycle racing has about as much effect on me as NASCAR did when I had a car. I’m vaguely aware that it happens, but other than that… eh. Now, if a(nother) Tour scandal somehow causes Surly or Clever Cycles to go out of business, that’ll make me sit up and take notice.

Josh,

Agreed—and the cycling demographic is much wider than racers and I hope that grows. Where it’ll hurt is events like the Tour of Utah that had sponsors pull out. Does that affect a potential SUB buyers decision? Nope, but it does stop races from being seen in small towns across America.

Maybe those sponsors would support a Grand Fondo instead or a Randonee or commuter events.

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