I want the dopers out as much as the next guy...but dayamn. I can't help but feel sad for Jan. There is something about his persona that inspires sympathy. I think Michael hit on something here, Jan's human-ness. Even with his geneticically freaky heart and lungs.
While Lance competed machine like, Jan was more human. He had bad days, he crashed, he cracked. Machine like is ...well boring. But Jan added much needed drama to the tour and he had bad days, like us mortals.
Even after repeated defeat, his words about Lance and cycling were always humble, honorable and mature. He seldom lost his temper and he never engaged in that silly melodramatic Simoni-ish trash talk.
And on those days, when he didn't crack, when his form and his motivation aligned...he was the most powerful man on the bike. I loved watching him race when this happened. Gritted teeth, bellowing lungs, and femurs that could pull a train. Good stuff.
I've been rooting for him to win since the Bianchi year. How difficult it must have been for him to win the Tour at such a young age, and to not live up to all the expectations that were put on him at that time. No matter how many National, World or Olympic titles he won, he would not be fully redeemed until he won the tour again. And this was to be the year that finally happened.
I agree with Michael, that this is probably it for Jan. This is no drunken party night with Vino. This is real trubble and Jan is not in his twenties anymore.
So be it.