The Tour supplement in today’s Times is excellent (partly written by ProCycling magazine’s Jeremy Whittle), but spoiled rather by the acres of newsprint in yesterday’s Sunday Times where David Walsh – not Lance Armstrong’s favourite journalist – resurrected his age-old ‘doubts’ about the Texan’s drug regime (clue: not of the cancer besting variety).
Writing about the history of doping in professional cycling, Walsh said that "[Armstrong] has not convinced everyone that he represents a complete departure from the old world.
"He continues to work with Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian sports doctor who is currently defending himself against police charges that he has doped cyclists. As Armstrong comfortably saw off his rivals in last years Tour, he was subjected to numerous taunts of dope, dope from fans on the mountainsides."
French fans, of course, and many fuelled by the speculations of Walsh and his allies in the French media.
That there’s doping in the pro peleton is hardly news – Mr and Mrs Rumsas can attest to that – but Walsh has made the ‘outing’ of Lance Armstrong into a micro-industry of his own.
He leaves his readers with the feeling all riders are doped:
"It would be a more human and more engaging race if [The Tour de France] was slower and the survivors got to the end on their own steam."
And former pro Paul Kimmage – the rider who wrote a famous book about cycling’s drug culture – is also in The Sunday Times.
The supplement in today’s Times contains many highlights, including
Bluffers Guide to Tour speak
Mentions of bike technology, including Lance’s Trek bike