Monday, 13 October 2008

KoM (King of the morons)

Kohl and Schumacher consider their futures.

It came to pass that another of the Gerolsteiner riders was caught partaking of CERA. Bernard Kohl joins space alien Schumacher on, what we hope is, the road to oblivion.
Still one thing is for sure Bernard is keeping a fine tradition going. Just take a look back at the previous list of KoM winners, go back to the 80's and you have a who's who of doping. Lets take a look;
Kohl 2008,Rasmussen 05, 06, Virenque 04, 03, 99, 98,97, 96,95, 94, Botero 2000, Chiappucci 91, 92, Claveyrolat 90, Theunisse 98, Rooks 88.
They have all failed tests or admitted to doping after their retirement.

If I look at the book shelves, I see rows and rows of cycling related books. There are a lot of books on coaching, books on periodisation, weight training, diet, books on great races, autobiographies and biographies of stars and water carriers. But you know what? There's not a book on the history of doping. That would make an interesting read, who's taken what and when they took it. The protests against testing and the riders caught cheating. You could slot in a couple of comedy chapters covering the bizarre excuses offered and finish up with a look at the long term heath consequences, both physical and mental of doping. Surely there's one waiting to be written?
Provides a good evenings entertainment and plenty of opportunity to feel angry and pissed off. Whether or not there would be enough potential sales to encourage a publisher to put up the money is another question, but if you feel you have that great unwritten novel inside you..... feel free to make with the idea.

Don't book that Parisian hotel (yet)

Whooo, hold on there, enough with the on-line hotel booking and the suitcase packing. Lance may not be visiting France after all.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport he admits he's riding the Giro to win, but goes on to say he might not ride in France.

'With the problems that I've got with the organisers, journalists and fans, I could get distracted from mission.'
He hopes a diplomatic solution can be found, but goes on to claim he's not had the OK from ASO. I bet you thought ASO had given the all clear? But just look past the September headlines and you see that they are pretty vague (how un French......ha, ha, ha). So as yet we don't know what the score is.

Lance says. "Is it possible they won't invite me? Everything is possible but I would find it incredible, a sort of own goal. I want to be in Paris but in a calm situation."
Er, yes it is quite possible he won't get asked, I don't find it incredible, come on Lance, you may well feel it's time to move on, but does everybody? An own goal, I doubt if ASO will see it like that, to be honest I doubt if they'd care how it was viewed outside Paris. Calm situation, yeah, like that's gonna happen.

If we assume that Astana have spent long enough on the naughty step for ASO to be satisfied. Then they must be in line for a ride. So if Astana are riding and Lance is a member of Astana and he's not currently under a ban, can ASO stop him?

What's I think is interesting, is that Lance not riding will generate as much publicity as Lance riding. I mean he won't be able to use the press conferences to get the cancer message across, but then is there any chance of that happening should he ride? I'd suspect the press events would follow their once traditional format, loads of questions about drugs, loads of bad blood (sorry feelings), photos of those asking awkward questions and a lot of shouting and waving of the arms. Things in Italy would I suspect be a little calmer. Maybe looking at all the potential grief will persuade him to just ride the Giro, or hey, Giro and Vuelta.
So we await the turn of events, it's all eyes to Paris, just don't let them stray towards those hotel rooms quite yet.

World Cup tickets for sale, only £500 for three days.

On a far more uplifting note (if you're a British track fan, as I am) the Sky sponsorship deal with British Cycling get's going at the first round of the world cup in Manchester in a few weeks time.
Victoria Pendleton, Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Jamie Staff are all to be found listed under the new Sky+HD trade team. +, is this the first time a + has appeared in a trade team name?

The world cup format of course allows trade teams in addition to national squads, so for a set-up like BC it's a great chance to give exposure and competition to even more riders.
Whilst Hoy and Wiggo aren't riding, it's pretty much the full Worlds and Olympic squads in action, so expect plenty of podiums from the home riders.

The world cup falls at a perfect time, a couple of weeks before the first of the Revolution track series and at a time when cycling is still riding high in the nations consciousness. Tickets can't be had for love nor money, although for five hundred quid I might be tempted.
A couple of years ago we sat in a half empty stadium and watched a round of the world cup, the UCI were none too impressed and said never again. However the success of the Revolution series (playing to full houses) and the World Championships caused a rethink, the result every ticket went with a couple of days of going on sale. So expect a great 3 days racing. I'll see you there.

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