Friday, 24 October 2008

Oh yes he is, oh no he isn't, oh yes he is, oh no he isn't

The pantomime season is upon us.

As the winter approaches theaters across the UK are gearing up for the pantomime season. Suddenly seats that have remained empty due to an excess of Shakespeare and an over reliance on local amateur dramatics will have backsides on them as Aladdin, Cinderella and their chums run through their paces. Men will dress up as fat women, women will dress up as young boys and the audience will will scream with delight and shout out 'behind you'. (similar shouts could be heard at the Saunier Duval team bus during July).

In cycling we like to keep up with the times and so we have our own pantomimes. There are the annual favorites; stories of family feuds between Uncle Pat and the ASO, sagas of riders running away from dope testers at Le Tour and the annual comedy of German cyclists getting busted. But this year we have a new pantomime that is sure to get the kids flocking to the cheap seats. This year instead of Puss in Boots (I don't suggestyou use that as a Google search term) We have Lance at le Tour.

Lance at le Tour started a couple of months ago with a slightly odd announcement that Lance was to make a return to the sport and ride Le Tour, this shortly turned into a return to cycling and riding le Tour to win. Not a bad start, but then as the weeks progressed it went from riding le Tour to win to, riding the whole season with le Tour as the highlight. Then it became riding the whole season over 5 continents and riding the Giro as well as le Tour. This became riding the whole season aiming to win the Giro and maybe riding le Tour to help another rider, which of course became riding the Giro to win as team leader and supporting the leader at le Tour.
This then turned into riding the Giro to win and maybe not le Tour, which of course became; riding the Giro to win and only 50/50 for le Tour. - Phew....
And we still have 6 months to go. Over the coming weeks we can expect the 50/50 for le Tour to become 100% not riding, but Lance will be there every day to offer support to AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto). This will change into 100% not riding, but Lance will be there on the key stages, which will by June be; 'Tour de what? Never heard of it.'

Hung, Drawn and Quartered.
In a move as unexpected as Uncle Pat winning Ireland's got talent, the Italian rider's association, the AACPI has called for dopers to be kicked out the sport for life.

Their letter to Uncle Pat is here: Letter to the UCI (from Velonews).

There's not much to say about that is there? I could be churlish and say 'about time' or 'it's a bit late' or 'as if it will have any effect', but I won't. Instead I'll welcome it, yes there will still be Italian riders that dope, just as aliens number 1 and 2 continued to do when the Gerolsteiner team had a strong anti doping line. But open anti doping statements, longer bans and the like will have an effect on some riders. I'm not naive enough to believe such words on their own will win the 'war' but they will go some way to altering the prevailing mind set and as such are to be welcomed.
Others, I'm sure, will pick over the statement word by word, compare it's fine words against the actions of certain members of the AACPI and so on, but I'm happy it's been said and I'll leave it at that. This pantomime will continue, no doubt, but maybe we could start to believe in angels again one day.

UCI and ASO; that meeting in full.

Pat McQuaid of the UCI and Jean Etienne of ASO patch up their differences.

So the UCI and ASO have had a love in, nice.... (I'll apologise if you're reading this after you've just eaten and the vision of Uncle Pat getting down to do the dirty is upsetting you, but there you go).
They have both been busy issuing statement listing their various positions (!!!!!) and in case you missed them, or in ces you didn't understand them, I'll translate:

Things are excellent,There is a charm offensive on both sides
. Said Uncle Pat. What he means is:
I still hate the bastard. But at least I've stopped kicking his dog.

We are very happy and very content with the way we are communicating with them, and they likewise feel the same about the way they are communicating with us:
We are now in the same room, but we are still screaming insults at each other. We had a buffet and we finished up throwing cake at each other. Mum says I can have jelly for tea.

"We had a meeting in Paris on Monday. I met with Jean Etienne, the new president of ASO, and one of the directors of the EPA. We had a discussion about various elements such as next year's calendar and they also explained their objectives with the Tour presentation.
I passed that twat Etienne in the street, I kicked him and said their Tour presentation was crap.

The route is interesting.
Call that a race route? My 4 year old nephew could come up with a better race than that.

And so on...... the words piss up and brewery spring to mind.

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