Sunday, 12 October 2008

Stefan Schumachers brain.

Stefan Schumacher - 'It was aliens that made me do it'.

The lab that developed the test for CERA have defended their test, saying it's "is one hundred-percent sure," So why have they done this? Apparent because Mr Schumacher has called the test into question. The reason he's done this is obviously because he's innocent. I await Piepolis view on the issue, doubtlessly he's innocent as well.

The truly amazing thing about Schumacher is that despite numerous run in's with anti doping authorities both inside cycling and outside (the police) he still persists in some sort of wired fantasy world where he is the innocent party and the world is out out get him.
This calls to mind a remark made by (I think) Dave Brailsford of British Cycling, who basically said that in order to dope and not let it affect your mental health you need to be some sort pf psychopath. The argument being that the stress involved in obtaining dope, using it in the full knowledge that it is illegal, then entering into a raft of measures to conceal all of this will have a detrimental affect on your mental health. You want proof? I'd look no further than the excuses offered by convicted dopers, it was for my dog, my wife, sweets from my auntie, too much beer, too much whiskey, it was my twin brother etc etc. These denials / excuses, call them what you will, are not the work of minds that are in full working order. Still I await Schumachers next utterance with interest, he is following the usual pattern of caught dopers, step 1 - I am innocent, step 2 - the tests are at fault, step 3 (by now the stress has caused you mind to implode) invent an excuse or blame it on someone else. We have yet to have an excuse centering around space ships and aliens, but I suspect it's only a matter of time.

It's all gone quiet over there...(thank God)

The mist has blown in from the sea and my part of the world is quiet and still.
It's also gone all silent over at comeback towers, or Lance land as I call it. It's been a few days since there was any real news, the wires are silent and apart from a few rehashed stories about AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) being unhappy with the return little seems to be taking place. Actually the guy I feel for in this is Levi, he must have been favorite to lead Astana in at least on of the grand tours, but now he's dropped a place in the pecking order and it will be team duties come the summer, I don't think Levi is ever a potential GT winner, but he is certainly good enough to make the podium and by rights deserves a team backing him whilst he goes for it. There has been loads of talk about poor AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) but so far little hasbeen said about Levi, which kind of makes me admire the guy more, he's quietly getting on with the business of riding his bike and not shouting to the press about how p'd off he is.

Somewhere else that is still and silent is WADA, OK they still send out a torrent of press releases and news reports, as always, but since the departure Dick Pound there have been fewer direct attacks on cycling. What's he doing with his time now he's not slagging our sport off? I'm sure he's pounding away at something else. Is it me or did he just seem to have some sort of complex as far as cycling went? Still relations between WADA and the UCI seem a little calmer now he's gone and to be honest good riddance, he was someone who seemed to love the sound of his own voice and was always quite willing to shoot off his mouth without thinking through the consequences of what he said.
Another reason for the calmer relations between UCI and WADA is the departure of Verbruggen, no wonder things were strained when you got those two ego manics in the same room, it's a surprise the police were never called to break up a fight. I hope they are both happy in their retirement and I hope they stay a long, long way away from cycling.

Cycling TV - just say no.

Well I have finally reached the end of my tether, rather than go down the Schumacher route and let it get to me, I'm considering cancelling my subscriptions to Cycling . TV.
The reason? Er... it's unmitigated crap, that's the reason. Oh it's not the commentary, the Mccrossan brothers, Brian Smith partnership is the best there is, rather it's the God awful service that claims to be their web site.
Theses are my grips with it, Firstly the player it pops up in a separate window, why does it need to do that? I ban all pop ups and have to tweak the system to allow them. It also seems to prefer (insist?) on IE, I hate IE and use Firefox / Chrome.
Still once we've allowed pop ups and picked their preferred browser we're in. It's then the fun really begins, want to watch an old race? That would be nice wouldn't it, lets see how can we do that? I know there's a search tab, I'll use that, oh hang on I might like to watch one of the lesser races they cover, but I'm not sure what it's called, so I can't use that. Never mind I'll use the tab next to it, the 'on demand' tab, er except I won't on demand, this will only allow me to go back to the end of Le Tour and not before, so if I want to see a race prior to the last week in July I'd better know exactly what it's called or else I'm screwed.
But wait, there's help at hand, a site map is (well) hidden at the bottom of the page, maybe this will assist me? Well it displays a 2008 race calendar, but that's all it does, there are no links to take me to the video of said race, still a quick copy and paste and drop the race name into the search facility and off we go,sometimes.
My point is this, why so many hoops to jump through to get a list of previous events? Why is the old system of displaying all the races that have been covered in one easily accessible place no longer in use? I'll tell you, they have moved to a new interface (it's been in use all year and still has the word beta on it - that tells you a lot), nothing wrong with that. But it appears that it has been put together by a code monkey and then tested by another code monkey, neither of whom has any knowledge or interest in cycling and most certainly neither is a user of the interface. It would have been a simple and inexpensive task to actually properly test the new interface and get some usable functionality into it, but hey, why do that when it can look nice. The result is p'd off users, we want to stay because when we eventually find a race the commentary is excellent, the camera work is good and it's cheaper than Eurosport, ah well, rant over, I might just go and ride my bike.
And that's another thing, have you seen the state of my training bike? Don't I ever get to clean it?.........

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