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The 10 biggest cycling stories of 2013

  • By Andrew Hood
  • Published Dec. 31, 2013
Lance Armstrong's confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey aired over two nights in January 2013. Photo: George Burns | Harpo

9. Armstrong confesses/Operación Puerto trial

Early in 2013 saw two stories from the ghosts of doping past put cycling on the front pages for all the wrong reasons.

The first was the day that no one ever thought they’d see; Lance Armstrong confessing that he doped. The opening 20 minutes of the Oprah Winfrey interview in January were riveting. The fallout of the Armstrong scandal continues to rumble across the peloton, but his confession marked a clear breaking point from the past.

Barely a month later came the long-delayed Operación Puerto trial. Though not quite packing the punch of the well-produced Oprah-Armstrong show, the Puerto trial had its moments. Star witnesses Tyler Hamilton and Jörg Jaksche offered new, sometimes-grisly details on how blood doping truly worked. And it wasn’t pretty, or nearly as sophisticated as many were led to believe. Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes might have sold himself as a Svengali who could turn a mule into a racehorse, but he proved to be little more than charlatan with a refrigerator full of blood bags.

When Hamilton described how his urine turned black after a botched blood re-infusion, there was no doubt that cycling had reached its absolute nadir.

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Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth at Colorado dailies before the web boom opened the door to European cycling in the mid-1990s. Hood has covered every Tour de France since 1996 and has been VeloNews' European correspondent since 2002.

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