Wellington, Oct 26 (ANI): New Zealand cyclist Hayden Roulston believes the opportunity exists for pure, drug-free cycling to emerge, but only if the right leadership is taken immediately, and only when more of the sport's shady characters are exposed.
Roulston said he had been looking forward to riding on what will be his 11th tour.
He said: "Every single pro cyclist has known all along what it was like to win those big races back then. I guess it's more like reality now. [Armstrong's] done wrong and he definitely doped but all those guys are just as bad as each other.
"It frustrates me that some of those guys there are in the pro peloton now, think they are so perfect pointing the finger, are on million-dollar contracts, but how did they get to that point? If I was the big boss of cycling, I'd zero out everyone's contract, put it all in a big bin and divide it up amongst every pro cyclist. From the start of 2013 you earn your money."
It hasn't been easy for Roulston to watch as Armstrong, his cycling hero and a former teammate, has been so brutally brought to earth by the anti-doping investigation, his subsequent banning from the sport, and the stripping of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union, stuff.co.nz reports.
"There are still guys that have won races clean, don't get me wrong, but in those big tours, that was different. Now you see Evans and Wiggins coming through, they are pure riders, I think.
"I won a couple of years ago as well, so I can't say things are going to be easier but I do think it's going to make the peloton wake up and really take notice that this is serious s..t. It's going to take training and nutrition, all that sort of stuff that you might neglect, to another level."
Michele Ferrari, the controversial sports doctor behind Armstrong and other riders suspected of doping, remained at large and cycling could not move on until he was expunged from the peloton, Roulston said.
Roulston is adamant he has never been pressured to take performance-enhancing drugs during his career. (ANI)