In the beginning, Americans were terrible at cycling. Just awful.
Then there was Greg LaMond. And he was good. Really good, actually. He won a couple of Tour de Frances, did a few Taco Bell commercials, and probably would have been even better if he hadn't lost several years of his career when his own brother-in-law accidentally shot him. Yes, really.
LaMond was shortly followed by Lance Armstrong. And where LaMond was merely good, Armstrong was amazing. Even without the cancer recovery stuff. And we had two all-time great American cyclists.
Then LaMond accused Armstrong of doping and came off as a petty, whiny jerk.
Then it turned out LaMond was probably right (making him no less petty, whiny or jerky) and Armstrong became just as toxic.
Then Floyd Landis came along, won the Tour de Cheats, er, France and the US had a great cyclist again. Then he tested positive for drugs, was stripped of his title, and it was back to zero.
The good news is, the US now has Levi Leipheimer. Winner of several major cycling races and, most recently, a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics. Not world breaking, but still better than it used to be.
The bad news is, despite the fact his name is Levi, he is not a Jew.
The search continues...