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These days doping obsesses the world and its wheel bag. Is it me but have we lost touch with the riders as three- dimensional characters? The human- interest factor seems to have been passed over in favour of soulless “professionalism”. The riders I still hold dear are the enigmatic and somewhat tainted figures of Rooks and Theunisse. However, questionable as their behaviours may have been, I also miss the antics of Anquetil and the character of Coppi. Jan Ulrich may have got into a pickle with his partying, Porsches and go-go dancers but nothing terribly noteworthy. Has professional racing lost its soul?

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