Thursday, 25 September 2008

It brings a tear to the eye.

Hein Verbruggen is to pack it all in. The man who has done so much for cycling over the years (all of it bad) is to hang up his UCI blazer to give himself more time to study history. (according to CN) .
Before he goes though he managed to pass comment on a few things, doping for instance - "The problem of doping is not greater in cycling than in other sports. But unfortunately we have this image and the image is often more important than the facts."
Indeed so Hein, the problem for us is not greater than other sports, but the image is a lot worse, perhaps you should have done something about it when you had the chance? Oh I'm sorry you did, you went on holiday.

And so to the big news of the week, I cleaned my training bike, oh sorry, you don't want to know that, well how about Mr Armstrong then? Here's something I don't get, why is Lance using a different testing programme from the rest of the team? What does that say about Astanas testing programme?. Dick Pound (why do I laugh every time I hear that name?) says "If it's not an (IOC) accredited laboratory the mere fact scientist X says 'I think Lance is ok' (means nothing)," Still it's kind of Lance isn't it? It made me smile, he'll do things his own way and the rest of you can eff off up the highway.

If any of you are looking for additional riders for your cycling club for the 09 season, you could do a lot worse that AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) he'll be looking for a ride soon, I suspect he might well want more than a free bike and a jersey with the name of the local butcher on it, but you never know. He will however insist on being team leader, which could put the noses of any 1st cats you have slightly out of joint. Still it might be worth asking the question eh?
As each day passes AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) get's more and more pissed off. As he does I suspect his lawyers are getting more and more excited at the prospect of some nice legal fee's and his manager makes more and more phone calls to other teams. Who would have the budget for a three times Grand Tour winner? Not many that's for sure, some sponsor is going to have to dig very deep to get him to sign on the dotted. Still if he's a pissed off as the rumors would have you believe he may well go for less than he's currently on. Assuming he does walk it will have to be for a team that can help him through the mountains in the GT's and lets face it there aren't any of those currently leaderless. What ever happens the next few weeks promise to be very entertaining.

So what's the score with the worlds TT course? No one except those that won medals seemed happy with it or their ride, no one could get 'on top' of the course and as a result just about everyone felt they could have done better. have a look at the mens list and there's certainly a lot of class TTers below Dave Millar, Gutierrez, Rogers, Boasson Hagen etc, and so on and so on.
Still from a GB perspective was there any chance that a medal would be won? Er, no, not really. So it's all hands on deck, all cards to play, do or die, now or never for the next few days, can't wait.

Whilst there were undoubtedly long faces and surprised looks from the TTers, you would have to go a long way to find looks as bizarre as the one Greg Lemond offered up to the worlds press at the Lance fest Las Vagas, get a load of this.....

What's all that about? It's a look that says 'You have to be joking / taking the piss / completely barking, if you expect me to believe that'.
You know I was never sure about Lemond as a rider, but since he's stepped back into the limelight I've come to totally love the guy. His interview in Procycling a few months back was excellent, great prospective and views on training and racing. The stand he took against Landis and what he had to endure on personal level moved him way up the ranks of the good guys if you ask me. I'd love to get his take on the whole Lance to return business, but I think maybe that look says more than words ever could.

What has been made clear on the LA to return front is quite clearly that nothing is clear. Might be a year, could be just until July 09, could be two years. Lance could be team leader, AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) could be team leader, Levi could be team leader. Johan will of course have a big say, now lets all try and guess what Johan's going to say............. yep I think you'll be right.
The cancer message is admirable and I'm sure that for Lance is a big, the biggest motivator here. But I just get the feeling he want's to put the record straight to some extent. You know, I was a nice guy, I was clean, I was fair, you can like me now. Whether the record will ever be straight or indeed could ever be straight is open to question. I guess the next few months may well show a new side of Lance Armstrong, I suppose it's up to fans worlds wide to hold and pass their own views. Good luck to 'em.

No comments: