Sunday, 30 November 2008

See you in court.

Stefan Schumacher to sue everyone on the planet.

Friday, it was cold, it was foggy, it wasn't a good day for playing out was it. Still my mood was lightened by the news that Stefan Schumacher was to sue everybody. I don't mean just the Docs who found his system dripping with magic juice. Oh no he's after everyone, the TdF, the French anti doping agencies and probably you and me for not believing him.

When a rider who was good, but not a world beater suddenly slaughters the worlds best TTers in two (count em) Tour de France TT's you have to raise an eyebrow. Well that's what we all thought didn't we, but apparently we were wrong. Just as with the Hamilton twins, just as with Ginger Floyd (what ever happened to his brother Pink?), it seems that he was right and the rest of the planet was wrong.
So sit back, put your feet up and enjoy, this is going to be a long one and should keep us entertained for the next couple of years. I don't expect it will develop the farcical extremes of the two mentioned above, but Stefan Schumacher has that manic glint in his eye, and that can only be a good sign.

This week has seen the annual CSC/Saxo/It-Factory survival camp take place. And this year they got to play with guns! Whether these will actually be used in a live combat situation, say if Astana start getting too big for their boots at Le Tour, or if Riis has really taken a strong anti-doping line and Kim Andersen is being used as a target is open to question, but as always good fun seems to have been had by all. The riders always speak highly of this team bonding exercise and it would appear it pays dividends during he road season. Maybe more teams should take a trip down toy soldier lane.
One team that seems to need no help in bonding is Rock Racing, the half way house for the rehabilitation of ex offenders.
Whilst I admire Michael Balls thirst for publicity and his charity work in giving ex dopers and riders past their sell by date a 2nd chance I was disappointed that he didn't sign Ginger Floyd. Still maybe he's keeping his powder dry, over the next few years there are going to be plenty of ex smack heads that will need rehabilitating back into the community, Stefan Schumacher, Kohl and their chums will be back in a couple of years, just as the Hamilton twins retire.

Meanwhile the UCI announce that there will be 18 Pro Tour teams registered for 09, but with 4 of those due to end sponsorship at the end of the upcoming season (Confidis, Milran, Lampre and AG2R). I wonder though how many will be there come 2010. Fuji-Servetto proves there are still companies willing to put money into the sport in a big way but I doubt if Milram will be here much longer. They have already talked about pulling out even before the seasons started, still nothing to do with Schumacher is it. Perhaps the riders and staff that lose their jobs could sue Steffan I'm sure he wouldn't mind, he seems to have some spare time on his hands.


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