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Exclusive: Q&A with ‘The Secret Race’ authors

  • By Neal Rogers
  • Published Sep. 5, 2012
  • Updated Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:16 PM EDT

VN: In the book you allege that the UCI covered up Lance Armstrong’s positive drug test from the 2001 Tour de Suisse. There’s been a lot of discussion that in order for real change to come to the sport, there first needs to be a regime change at the UCI. Given the current power structure of the sport, do you believe that can happen?

TH: If we can get the support to do it. We need more than a few. There’s not one rider in the peloton today who can make the change, it has to be a large group of people standing up for what’s right. They need to do some weeding out, if not a full clearing house, at the UCI. They need a whole new structure, and I think this book is the beginning of that.

DC: I think the conversation has started, and people can now have access to the facts, they can look at them all, and they can decide about their relationship to the sport, they can decide about their relationship to the past, and they can decide about the future. All of that is a conversation that seems to me is desperately needed, and is ready to happen.

VN: What do you say to those who will defend Armstrong no matter how much evidence is presented before them? Why do you think that is the case?

DC: The human brain is a complicated place. Lance Armstrong clearly means a lot, and has inspired a lot of people, and I don’t think anyone is trying to denigrate that in any way. He has a relationship that really matters, and that’s great, but I think it’s clear, as these facts come out, people are going to have the chance to make up their own minds. I think people are smart. They can disentangle the cancer positives from the truth, it’s going to be complicated to do that, but in the end, it’s a good moment. People have a chance to do that fully, and honestly, and make up their own minds. I don’t think Tyler is making a case for anything other than that people have the right to know the truth.

TH: Like I said on “The Today Show,” Lance is one of the best athletes in the world. You can’t take that away from him. He got caught up in it, just like I did. I guarantee you that when he started riding a bike, he didn’t plan on doing what he did. None of us did. You got put in that situation, you worked so hard to get there, and then you are thrown for a loop.

DC: And that’s the exciting thing about the book. People will have the opportunity to ask the question — what would have I done in that situation? What would I have done? And I think when people honestly ask themselves that question, and honestly look at what these guys went through, people will be surprised when they ponder that question, and they will have a lot more empathy for guys in that situation — and a lot more determination to not make it happen in the future. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t right.

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Neal Rogers

Neal Rogers

Neal Rogers is editor in chief of Velo magazine and VeloNews.com. An interest in all things rock 'n' roll led him into music journalism while attending UC Santa Cruz, on the central coast of California. After several post-grad years spent waiting tables, surfing, and mountain biking, he moved to San Francisco, working as a bike messenger, and at a software startup. He moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 2001, taking an editorial internship at VeloNews. He never left. When not traveling the world covering races, he can be found riding his bike, skiing, or attending a concert.

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