Morning all - the following is simply an opinion piece and isn't intended to single out any particular riders or teams. Its intended more to focus on the psyche of us, the cycling fan! I don't mean to offend anyone and hope that the following won't lead to my ostracization (there's a mouthful) from future live-threads etc.
That said - I'd like to question our collective mindset regarding dopers and riders who the collective might be doping and riders we all think definitely AREN'T doping. This came up during the CX worlds yesterday afternoon and I'm sure you can probably guess who/what I'm alluding to..! How do some riders avoid suspicion and allegations, when others see to attract them like moths to the proverbial honey-pot?
Bradley and Marianne
One of these riders seems to attract suspicion by the boatload, whereas, the other, to my knowledge doesn't really suffer the same allegations. Take Wiggins' magical 2012, where he won most of the stage races he entered and won Olympic TT gold. Equally, Vos' year was spectacular, even by her standards and there are enough signs already in 2013 to suggest that this year will be no different.
Why then does one rider face cries of not an unsubstantial minority? If we look at the Tour perhaps, Wiggins was solid in the mountains and did what he needed to do. For the most part, most riders were able to hang with him and Froome, only suffering in the time trials and that magical stage 7 (I believe?). The level is what I'd describe as 90-95% and we didn't see any telltale 'magical' spurts of speed up in the mountains. Compare this to Vos yesterday in the CX worlds, where after just 1 lap, the field had been destroyed, leading to an easy victory. Similarly, Vos' level is often leagues above her competitors, dominating races and fields across the cycling spectrum.
In the interests of time and sanity, I'll leave the direct comparison there, but I've been throwing this idea around for the last 24 hours or so - why do we challenge some riders but not others? Why is there an assumption of guilt or doubt (by some), whereas other escape the same charges? Is it that male racing tends to be more mired in the dark-arts? Is it that we're more insulated to particular riders? I really can't figure it out myself.