In 1997 I had cancer and after radiation was weak and had lost over 20 kilos in three months. A good friend introduced me the gym trainer at Olympia Gymnasium, Paul Johnson, where I still train. Then I began regular cycling with the St Kilda bunch three times or even four times a week. Hearing some of the Lance Armstrong story I bought and read his book "It's Not About the Bike" in which he details his illness, the awful treatments and the long recovery process.
A year or so later I joined a tour group, on bikes led by Phil Anderson (an Australian cyclist), following the Tour de France every day. We would ride the course early in the morning and then take up vantage points to watch the race finish.
We were in Paris to see Lance take the podium and the Yellow Jersey.
The idea that he took drugs to help him win seemed ridiculous. As he said in his books after the poison of chemotherapy he was never going to put anything harmful into himself.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. One way of looking at it is to say - if everybody was taking drugs then in that level playing field Lance was the best. Hmmm.
Cadel on the other hand could have won three Tours by now if the field was level.