Cycling guru speaking in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Cycling guru speaking in Aspen

Joel StoningtonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN For the first time in nine years, Chris Carmichael didn’t go to the Tour de France. As coach for seven-time champion, Lance Armstrong, Carmichael played a pivotal role in many of the past tours.”It was a mess of a Tour,” said Carmichael, speaking of doping issues that removed the race leader and multiple other cyclists. “You can look at the sport and say the sport is corrupt or you can say the sport is doing a lot.”He opted for the second version, saying that if other sports were doing as much as cycling, then there would be similar circumstances in those sports. Carmichael is in town Monday to provide support for the Aspen/Snowmass Ride for the Cure. He is co-founder of the ride and is the 2007 national honorary co-chair. He has cycled at each of the first three rides for the cure and will be there this year as well. The ride is part of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Aspen affiliate, a group that has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to valley health organizations to help fight breast cancer. Though strides have been made against the disease both in cancer research and education, 211,000 women are expected to die this year from breast cancer. Carmichael appears Monday to support Komen Aspen with a book-signing of his latest book, “Five Essentials for a Winning Life,” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sky Hotel.Komen Ride for the Cure folks will be there signing people up for the ride. And the Sky Hotel will donate proceeds from a drink, tickled pink, to the foundation. The ride is only three weeks away – Saturday, Sept. 8. Last year, more than 400 riders participated in the 100-mile ride. The ride, more fundraiser than race, costs $100 to enter and a commitment of raising an additional $500. Organizers said that though the big ride is 100 miles, there are other distances to suit riders of all abilities. “The ride has become a symbol of hope for survivors,” said Elaine Grossman, president of the board of Komen Aspen. “There’s a spirit about it that inspires people to come back year after year.” The state of cyclingDoping is the issue of the day for the sport of cycling, and questions of doping seems to have left few untouched. Carmichael has had to face questions following allegations by cyclists he trained in 2000.He has not been found to be giving performance enhancing drugs to the athletes he trains, through a reported 33 medals at the Olympics, World Championships and Pan American Games, as well as the seven Tour de France wins. “It’s painful to watch and to see,” he said.Once Carmichael dispenses with the latest from the doping issues gripping cycling, he is on to more fun topics such as nutrition and how he did the Leadville 100 mountain bike race this year. He speaks in a refreshingly honest way; for someone known as a fitness guru, he doesn’t appear to have the need to prove himself on fitness. When talking about trying to beat the Leadville event’s nine hour cut-off needed to earn a belt buckle and missing it by less than 15 minutes, two years in a row, he wryly smiled. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com