Urban Velo

Fuck Yellow Wristbands

It was controversial and perhaps even offensive to some when these “Fuck Yellow Wristbands” dog tags first made an appearance with a wink and nod at the Interbike trade show during the height of the Livestrong wristband craze. This isn’t pro-cancer, this is anti-Lancebrand. Perhaps it was as long ago as 2004 when the bands first hit, perhaps it was a year or two later, but while it is now clear that more or less the entire ranks of professional cycling were using performance enhancing drugs, with Lance Armstrong being the best at using and avoiding detection according to the USADA, only the most cynical, or realistic, fans were willing to point the finger at the time and accept these tags. It all seemed so obvious, far more so in hindsight. The first five time winner of the Tour de France, Jacques Anquetil, in a 1960′s era French TV interview, “Leave me in peace; everybody takes dope.” The very first winner of the Tour de France, Maurice Garin, was disqualified from the second Tour in 1904 after being caught taking a train during the grueling stage race. More than a few racers have been culled from the ranks from over-doping themselves to death. Cheating has been part of cycling since the first grand races, and part of sport since the dawn of time. Bending the rules to win is human nature, fueled on by the public deification of athletes on and off the field. Lance worked the system like no one else, a perfect combination of adversarial story, unparalleled race results, and well publicized charitable work towards cancer awareness and patient access. He was an inspiration to many, and that is not to be taken away. He also enriched himself to no end during the process, and threw everyone within reach under the bus to preserve his brand. The emperor’s new clothes are a far cry from the yellow jersey. Years later the dog tags that once brought forth groans from visitors exist in a much different context.


  1. babble onOctober 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

    The really sad thing is that giving money to pharmaceutical companies to develop more drugs for cancer is actually counter-productive to human health and well-being. The ‘best’ part of his legacy may well be the most damaging in the long run.

  2. MageSTYKOctober 25, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Do bad deeds, sooner or later it will eventually get back to you. The dude was an asshole, a lier, and a cheater. That’s Karma.

    Be Positive, Act Positive, Stay Positive my friends.

  3. TrackoOctober 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    @MageSTYK There is nothing positive about that comment.

  4. kurtzOctober 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Thankfully, The Onion’s “Cheat to Win” yellow wristbands are back on the market.

  5. kristinOctober 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    UM, WHAT BABBLE ON SAID SAID. yes times a million.

  6. MageSTYKOctober 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    @Tracko, Sorry dude but ‘Cancer Jesus’ lied and cheated.

    But I’m guessing the he’s an ‘Asshole’ is what you didnt like. Let me explain, anyone who has millions of dollars that goes to a restaurant and don’t tip the waitress is an ASSHOLE.
    There are a shit load of accounts of him being an Asshole.
    That’s not Acting or Being Positive my friend.

    That’s what I meant.
    Sorry bro If he’s your hero, but just calling it like it is.

  7. TerryOctober 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Professional bicycle racing is a joke. Always has been. Always will be.

  8. alexOctober 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

    When Urban Velo comments on bikes, it usually does a good job. But human nature, I’m afraid, is a topic at which Urban Velo does not excel. It is best to leave that subject to scientists and philosophers. By the way, recent science tends to show that cheating is actually NOT part of human nature. On the contrary, the norm seems to be a a desire to be fair, and to play by the rules. In addition, behavior such as cheating is often dependent on cultural context (and we now know the ‘culture of doping’ and ‘code of silence’ Armstrong presided over in recent professional cycling). I am personally not aware of any science showing cheating is part of human nature. In fact, the very term ‘human nature’ is controversial, and open to debate. Some people are not even sure what that terms means, or if such a thing even exists. No one denies that cheating (or indeed doping) exists in professional sports. The question is why it exists, and the answer is likely to be pretty complex. But to say that cheating is ‘human nature’, or that it is an inevitable part of professional sports, is a huge stretch, and a very poor defense of Armstrong.

  9. Urban JeffOctober 28, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Human Nature

  10. chaunceyJanuary 15, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Finally my first impression rings true.

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