Monday, 13 October 2008

One for the good guys.

Paris - Tours (at last a bike race takes place)

Good guys do win, that's the message from Paris-Tours. Gilbert's win is one not just for a good guy, but one for a good team. FDJ have long had a strong anti doping ethic and their team were roundly cheered at the 07 le Tour for their stand against doping and chickens.
But it wasn't just a good day for the guys at FDJ, Landbouwkrediet, Bouygues Telecom and Agritubel had riders making up the winning move. Proving that the 'smaller' teams can do the business just as well as the big boys and that if you try hard enough you effort will pay off. The four fought hard to stay away from the peloton and fully deserve their success.
For a small team like Landbouwkrediet it was a big day, 2nd for Jan Kuyckx in a major classic is a huge result for the Belgian squad and one they fully deserve. Landbouwkrediet have a good reputation in the UK due to their employment of Manning, Clancy and Stannard and many British fans will be pleased with their result.

Gilbert finally got a big one and hopefully this will give him the spur to go onto bigger things next season. He is one rider that has spoken out against doping and stated his determination to ride hard no matter what the odds, well yesterday the odds were in his favor as he found himself with three hardworking and fully committed riders all of whom had something to gain and all of who can feel more than happy with their days work. It was a well deserved victory and an undoubtedly bright spot in what has been a pretty dire week in the world of professional cycling.

Lance, he's a little ray of sunshine. (For a certain young Spaniard.)

Anything else happened,.... er, well..... oh yes...... the comeback, I almost forgot.
Lance will for the first time ride the Giro, which next year clocks up 100 years. In fact 'Everybody says that the Giro will be the kick-off to the Tour while I know I could come to Italy to be a winner and that the Giro will be my true three-week stage race of the year,'
says Lance. At thirty eight there can be no way he'd seriously go for both the Giro and le Tour, although you'd never quite rule that out, would you? So, you know what? That seems to have put something of a smile back on AC's (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) face, the boy seems a lot happier now and I guess for Astana it's win, win, win all the way. Lance to go for the Giro, AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) for le Tour and a straight two way fight between Levi and AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) for the Vuelta.
Now with all this publicity the Astana brand, let alone the Livestrong brand will just get bigger and bigger. Just remind me, what's an Astana? It's a Kazakhstan cheese isn't it? Anyway, whether it's cheese or jam, I'll be first in the queue when they start selling it in the UK, maybe it's a brand of shirt or a carpet manufacturer, who knows.

That one announcement has brought a lot of jollity to AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) and he seems to have changed his tune in double quick time and now appears surprised that there were teams interested in signing him, yeah, right.

The IOC - down the toilet with the dopers - it's official.

Are you afraid of needles? Don't worry the IOC is at hand. They don't like them either.

You'll recall that a few days ago a hither too unknown IOC official was calling for cycling to be expunged from the history book and all bicycles to be thrown in the crusher. So you can imagine my surprise (not) when it turns out that the glowing edifice that is the IOC isn't as luminescent as they would have us believe.

It seems that the IOC's claim to be at the forefront in the war against doping is about as believable as AC's (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) one that he was surprised other teams wanted his signature.
It was revealed last night (to I suspect stifled laughs at UCI HQ) that the IOC concealed inadequacies, shortcomings and generally being crap in its anti-doping procedures during the Beijing Olympics. Of the 4770 tests carried out 300 still lack proper documentation and results, which just about makes them worthless in an anti doping fight. But it's not just the on the day testing procedures that have had problems, oh no. The Athletes Whereabouts documentation from almost half the national Olympic associations was junk. 102 out of 205 proved to have insufficient or no information relating to where their athletes were at certain times. This was despite the IOC requesting the information on multiple occasions. Can you imagine what would happen if cyclists were unable to provide information as to their whereabouts? The IOC, WADA, Uncle Tom Cobley and all would call into question our right to exist and yet almost 50% of the nations at the Olympics failed to do this and no one says a dickey bird.

But hey, don't worry, all of that has obviously not been commented on, because it pales into insignificance when you look at how many sports have signed up to the IOC's blood testing programme. Yes whilst cycling is pilloried the IOC have quietly forgotten to mention that of the 28 international summer sports federations only 4 ( yes that's 4 out of 28), namely cycling, athletics, rowing and modern pentathlon have agreed to subject it's athletes to screening to reduce the chances of any blood doping.
Perhaps, and here's a thought, the UCI should stand up and say they don't want to be part of the Olympics, an organisation that is clearly 'down the toilet', an organisation that is incapable of fighting the dopers, unable to conduct reliable tests and is reliant on poor practice and ineffective procedure.

The IOC anti doping committee meet to consider what to do next.

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