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Malcolm Gladwell Talks Lance Armstrong

Stashed in: New Yorker, Cycling!, Lance Armstrong, @gladwell

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I love Gladwell:

""Here's my thing about Lance, and that is, our paradigm is wrong for biking. What if we thought about bicycling as just the equivalent of auto racing. It's Formula 1.

"What is Formula 1? It's the combination of a car, so an instrument. A driver, and the driver's skill. And science. So Formula 1 teams compete on these three levels simultaneously. We compete to see who has the fastest driver, we compete to see who has the best car, and we also compete in our ability to innovate within the rules, to use science to further the performance of our driver within those constraints.

"So, what if we thought about Lance and competitive cycling as auto racing. It's on three levels: you got a bike, you got a driver, and you got science. When you look at what Lance is alleged to have done, basically he was better than everyone else at using PEDs. He was the guy who sat down and was rigorous and focused and thoughtful and intelligent and cutting edge in how to use them, and apply them and make himself better. Like, I don't know, so is that a bad thing? He's being rewarded for being the best at his game. It was an element in the competition, and he used that element better than anyone else.

"Why don't we just make that a part of the definition of what it means to be a great bicyclist?"

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