For more than a decade now Bicycling magazine has been positioning itself as the “rah rah” supporter of the Lance Universe. Cover stories have drooled over Lance’s various comebacks. They have produced multi-page guides to watching Lance in the tour (sometimes made ironically irrelevant by broken collar bones). They’ve sold books about Lance written by their own Bill Strickland who, in turn has been one of the biggest Lance supporters in print.
One issue I checked and found the word Lance present on every other page of the front of the book (the part of a magazine before the feature articles start). Chris Carmichael for more than a year included the word Lance in the first paragraph of every column. The magazine has taught us how to ride like Lance, climb like Lance, train like Lance, descend like Lance and make a comeback—you guessed it—like Lance.
Finally, if Lance did dope, magazines like Bicycling are partially culpable. His revenue, his fame, his notoriety was borne on the back of their rising circulation numbers and any illicit drug use would have been to keep that very same fame and fortune alive.
Interesting piece on Bikehugger - reminds me slightly of the Cyclocosm piece about the post-Lance tour;
"Can you even imagine it? No more armies of dentists dragging the LBS out of the red each year with Lance-replica Trek purchases. No more Chris Carmichael promising phantom results to middle-aged racers about to train themselves out of love with the sport." (that piece is here, http://cyclocosm.com/2010/07/welcome-to-le-tour-2-0/ )
Cyclocosm's piece is from last year, and tries to figure out the shape of a post-Lance bike culture in the US - perhaps the apparent repositioning of Bicycling is the first glimmer of it?