Jonathan Vaughters, who rode through the worst of the doping crisis; has contorted like a preteen Chinese gymnast around his own compromised record; and was determined to start a clean team — consequences, and potentially poor results, be damned.
Cycling, after all, is the toughest sport in the world. A rider must give up his body to the agonies of pedalling for days and months on end. He must give up other things: his youth, a part of his essential character, the broadness of a lived life, all for the focused brilliance of his sport. But in these certainties, questions remain. If one is “frustrated with fifth,” does this mean one is unwilling to go as far as it is necessary to go, into the grey areas where Adam’s Whereabouts doesn’t peek? One can be forgiven, also, for wondering if winning morally beats winning by any means necessary. In a sport that demands giving everything away, must not one give everything away?
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