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OH(prah) Lance–and what about the Ladies in pro cycling?

Just to follow through on a story I’m sure we are quite glad is over, Lance Armstrong.

Lance went on Oprah last week in an attempt to play ball with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and lift his life time ban on competing in endurance sports. Instead he did a lousy job of 1) telling the truth and 2) being even remotely apologetic to the numerous people he discredited in his attempts to hid his decade of lying about using performance enhancing drugs.

David Zirin, sports editor of the Nation and author of his upcoming book: Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, appeared last week on Democracy Now to talk about the Lance interview. It was very telling how David pointed out how Lance had a golden opportunity to point out the larger world of corruption of the pro cycling world and to find out how to protect cyclists from a very dangerous physically taxing sport instead of finding better ways to get away with doping.

Read more of David’s work on his column: edgeofsports.com

Meanwhile, with all this attention on the men of cycling, very little attention has ever been focused on the woman of the sport. In fact they cycling authorities have canceled the woman’s race of the legendary Tour de France. While most people aren’t even aware their was a woman’s race, one of its biggest champions of the sport Nicole Cooke, retired last week. She did not go out quietly though, she used this opportunity to make a scathing speech highlighting the inequality in the sport and why Lance Armstrong should go to jail.

Here is an article from the Guardian:

Cyclist Nicole Cooke: ‘I had to say exactly how it is’
Cycling champion Nicole Cooke’s retirement speech was a fearless attack on inequality in her sport. She tells why she had to speak out – and why Lance Armstrong should go to jail
By: Simon Hattenstone
January 16th, 2013

It says so much about the sport of cycling. The very week that disgraced Lance Armstrong finds redemption in the form of Oprah and a global television audience, the greatest female cyclist of her generation, Nicole Cooke, says farewell to an honest and inspirational career, and the world barely blinks. Nicole who?

But Cooke was determined not to go quietly. She has always said it as she has seen it, and never more so than in her retirement speech, in which she pulled what was left of the rug out from under her beloved sport. Slowly and methodically, she exposed every aspect of corruption in professional cycling, from doping to gross gender inequality. It took 20 minutes to deliver, and was greeted by journalists with stunned silence, then sustained applause.

Cooke, 29, has won everything there is to win in her career – the women’s Tour de France twice, the Italian equivalent, the world championship, Olympic gold. She was the first woman to dominate both long-distance tours and day races. While Armstrong is still worth an estimated $100m, Cooke leaves with little more than her pride and a pile of prestigious jerseys. In the months leading up to last year’s Olympics she wasn’t even paid her wage by her cycling team.

Read more here.

Nicole’s retirement speech in full can be found: here.

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