Saturday, July 28, 2007

i hate team discovery

i've been watching the tour on and off for many years now, first in england over 20 years ago, watching miguel indurain win his 5 tours.

i can't ever remember a tour so close, wide open, and rocked by scandal. even the 1998 festina debacle doesn't match up to the vinokourov & rasmussen shocks of this year's race.

and we thought the floyd llandis affair, along with basso's ban had resulted in a clean tour.

one thing still strikes me as very odd about vinokourov's positive blood doping tests and results. first, blood doping is very easy to spot and test for. the rider winning the stage knows with 100% certainty that he will be tested. it's like deliberately driving at 150mph past a police car on the highway, knowing you will be caught. it was his last tour and he was ending his career going out a hero. that just doesn't make any sense.

i can't stand that nasally, whining levi leipheimer, who is seemingly incapable of completing a sentence when interviewed without using the word 'but' in it when team discovery aren't in the lead...

and as for versus, while phil liggett and paul sherwin continue to do a fantastic job of commentating on the tour, it would be nice to have just a fraction little less bias for everything team discovery...

team discovery. apart from paolo salvadelli's win in 2005, and andrew hampsten of 7-eleven in 1988, no american team has featured well in the world's SECOND biggest cycle race the giro d'italia.

why? because they train to win the biggest. ask anyone on the street in america who is the best cyclist of all time, and most will probably answer with lance armstrong, a sporting legend no doubt for his incredible achievments and what he has had to overcome. however, go to europe, and it's universally eddy merckx, a man who not only won the tour de france 5 times, but also the giro d'italia 5 times...he also established world cycling records, some of which remain unbroken to this day.

he is also the only rider ever in the history of the tour de france to win the king of the mountains competition, the sprinters' points competition, and the tour itself in the same year (1969). that is unthinkable today.

sorry america, but it's a belgian who is regarded as the greatest and most successful cyclist of all time. 525 career victories...

one very significant fact about lance was that he seldom competed in other tours and was able to train 180 days per year for the 23 days of the tour de france, a significantly greater training time than riders who have to compete in other races.

so here's to predictor-lotto and australia's cadel evans! attack! attack! attack! on the last stage of the tour. because if you don't, you'll have a an awful lot of answering to do when you get back home to australia...

...and all the rabobank riders that sacrificed themselves protecting michael rasmussen while he was wearing yellow.

maybe it's time what with all the fall-out from this year's tour de france to somehow make the world's biggest cycle race less of a cherry picking event.

combine the UCI tours and make a grand prix, 'un grande champion', culminating with the last race of the season.

there is some good news: at least there won't be a team discovery in next year's tour :)

... (look out for the military channel team...)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

an uncomfortable truth

so it turns out some sports heroes aren't so heroic after all.

cycling isn't alone. for anyone naive enough to believe that cycling is somehow tainted more than any other sport is living in a dreamworld. it's just that in cycling they test more often and without warning and the riders have no say in the process (baseball)

too much money, too much expectation. build up the role of the sporting hero, market them for all the might dollar is worth and let the companies cash in.

we sit at home and watch human beings achieve that which we could not. 50 years ago there wasn't any clever science in sport, sure there was cheating, but whatever cheating was going on was pretty elementary, and whatever was going on wasn't because of a clever doctor. now look at what our knowledge has enabled us to do.

does anyone watching the nfl & nba think these athletes are clean? because how does the human body put on so much mass over such a short time...

what's the difference between cycling and bud selig's steroid era baseball?

...i'd say just about everything you can think of.

in professional cycling, we have guilty unless proven innocent. this is the metric that all professional sports should now follow if they really want to be taken seriously as anti-drug.

let's see bud selig, roger goodell, & david stern have a press conference announcing this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

wow! - vinokourov wins in the pyrenees

i don't care if he doesn't win the tour, vinokourov's performance in this year's tour de france will earn him a place in everyone's memory who has seen him fight every day in the saddle.

definitely blokey.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

vino on fire!

Alexandre Vinokourov powered his way back into Tour de France contention with a stunning victory in the 54km individual time-trial on stage 13.

...if he manages to win this year's tour, it will be one of the all-time greatest sporting achievements. period.

barry who?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rasmussen calm over drug-test row

Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen has defended himself in the row that has followed his missed drug tests.

The Danish Cycling Union dropped the rider after saying he had received warnings from the International Cycling Union and anti-doping authorities.

"I feel this has been blown a little out of proportion," said Rasmussen.

"I can confirm I have no positive doping tests and I have been tested out of competition in June and those tests were negative." has to question the timing of denmark's ban. for instance, can you imagine the united states dropping the yellow jersey-wearing rider from national and world competition while leading the tour de france? because i can't.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Soler Hernandez claims Alpine win

there are some great individual performances of the tour, one being rasmussen's, the other has to go to the young columbian, soler hernandez, who left everyone behind in yesterday's tough alpine stage.

update: i must be

a) old, and

b) mad, 

because i completely left out my man alexander vinokourov's heroic efforts just to complete each stage without being time disqualified. if there was a tour jersey for sheer toughness, he's already won it.

what a great tour this year's race is.

happy to see cedric vasseur, a frenchman, win in marseilles today.

Monday, July 16, 2007

happy birthday mate!

nutty apologises for not making it out on saturday night.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


i am granting a full & unconditional pardon to bheesh, for missing nutty's stag night as my first gesture as a married man.

michael rasmussen - how does he do it?

anyone getting up at 7am this morning on the east coast of the united states to watch the tour de france was treated to some incredible racing.

michael rasmussen went it alone, as is so often his style, to secure the tour de france yellow jersey.

what amazed me was the continued early morning attacks as if the upcoming category 1 climbs didn't matter.

just incredible.

then there's nascar...snzzz

linus gerdemann snatches yellow jersey

what an incredible ride!

sometimes you just have to go for it, and occasionally you are rewarded for your efforts. 

the t-mobile man went it alone over the Col de la Colombiere, finishing 40 seconds clear of inigo landaluze.

the tour de france is easily the best thing on tv.


Friday, July 13, 2007

we're back from alaska!

but not without flat eric security issues...