Does make you wonder though. How many of the "nearly men" of Lance's generation (and right up to today) would have been global superstars had others not cheated? Would Chris Boardman have had more pro wins? Would Carlos Sastre? Would LeMond have won more tours?
Interesting article on the beeb listed all the TdF winners tainted by doping, yet listed Big Mig in the clean category - he failed a dope test when going for the hour record... So his wins should come out as well.
Wonder if there's any chance some of the "clean" riders from that generation could launch a class action suit for loss of earnings against those proven to have cheated?
I'd have to answer an unequivocal "yes" re. Boardman - the promise and the talent was of course there, and he showed well in the shorter stage races such as the Dauphine and the Criterium International, taking the GC in the '96 edition of the latter, sadly the playing field was less than level. Speaking of 1996, it seems to have been a near-stellar year for Chris, the only omission being a TdF time trial win, though he did bag a top-40 GC placing, again pretty good considering what he was up against. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Boar ... mar.C3.A8s
. All told, some of his Romandie, Dauphine and Paris-Nice exploits compare pretty well with Wiggo's achievements.
As for Lemond, I remember watching the 1991 TdF on Channel 4 and just assuming he was past his best. With hindsight, given the way the sport was going around that time, it seems clear there were other forces at work which put him at a disadvantage. The following year, of course, we were treated to Chiappucci's too-good-to-be-true Sestriere performance....
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