Saturday, 7 March 2009

Coffee and cake anyone?

Here's my team, it has one rider!

I used to think running a professional team was hard work, signing sponsors, doing deals on bikes and equipment, hiring staff and even acquiring the odd rider.
Well congratulation to Nico Mattan, main man at Cinelli-Downunder. At his team presentation in Belgium a couple of days ago he had the grand total of one rider! No one else has been given a license yet, but why let reality stand in the way of giving free booze to journalists I say.

One of the riders without a licanse is of course Crazy Frank. Frankie it seems, well according to my poorly translated sources, is actually riding the bike, although whether this actually translates to winning, let alone finishing races is open to debate. (Don't forget my bet that he'll only finish 5 races this years before it all goes pear shaped again, looking good so far).

French training camp.

When I say Paris-Nice, what do you think of? The race to the Sun? Kelly's victories? The first rendezvous for the GT big hitters? Not me, the first thing I think of is the UCI and their now annual attempts to bugger up the race and derail everyone's preparations by issuing a series of proclamations designed to piss of teams, manager and riders, whilst simultaneously allowing the rest of us to shake our heads in disbelief.

Yes, yes, yes. Bio-passports are important and teams should be signed up to them and failure to do so should/must be punished. But (and of course this is just my view), shouldn't all this have been sorted months ago? Oh no stupid me, it's far more logical to leave the weight throwing until the eve of the race when riders are en-route, the fans campers are rolling and the press has started to pay attention.
Patrick Lefevere, a man to listen to if ever there was one said: 'I don't like this kind of blackmail from the UCI and Pat McQuaid. I don't accept blackmail from anyone, McQuaid, ASO, not even Osama bin Laden!'
Brilliant, linking the UCI and Osama bin Laden in one ssentence, first time I've seen that one, impressive!

Once again the voice of sanity belonged to Jonathan Vaughters, who as with the recent business over aero-bars and seat positions seems to be able to take a calm and logical view of the UCI generated mess. Vaughters position and statement was well placed, supporting the teams (he is AIGCP head) whilst not hammering the UCI. Thus he offered a calming influence and gave each side a chance to calm down and a little room to move.

Huuummm, Jonathan Vaughters would make a great boss for the UCI wouldn't he. He seems to posses the ability to talk rationally to all concerned, is a great planner and leader, is strongly anti-doping and can see things from the side of rides, teams and sponsors.
I mentioned the other day that I thought GB's Dave Brailsford would be another good candidate for the post, they have similar views and would seem that both are equally well equipped for the post. Which pretty much will ensure that neither would get the job.

Dopes in the house.

In a landmark and totally unprecedented act of sanity the UCI and AFLD have sat down togetther for coffee and cake.
The two bodies have decided that in future they will work together, starting at this year Paris-Nice and possibly even going on to Le Tour. Uncle Pat has promised to bring a nice chocolate cake along, whilst Pierre Bordry of the AFLD had said he'll pour the coffee.

Seriously (Er.....) though, FFS, FFS, FFS, FFS, why is it everything the bloody UCI do seems to be too late, the Bio-Passport muscle flexing should have been done and dusted months ago and shouldn't these two important bodies have sat down for coffee and cake 12 months ago, or at the very least last July?

As a fan I don't care who runs dope controls, as long as they are 100% secure, catch cheating scum and that all agencies concerned sign up to their support, validation and resultant findings.
But then I'm not a global cycling official am I?
So at P-N AFLD will do the tests and send the results to the UCI, who will, should any prove to be positive, no doubt dither for a few months allowing the local lawyers to get rich quick.

Schumacher eh?

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about him (sadly).



philip said...

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I am Onthebanking said...

Thanks, glad you like it :-)