Saturday, 16 May 2009

Giro 2009, the good, the bad and the very, vety ugly.

I say old chap - is that scum on the horizon?

Grand Tours, seriously, what's the point? I mean it's summer, anyone in their right mind should be heading for the beach or at least sticking the panniers on and doing a spot of light touring. For me the season starts with the Autumn classics and crosses via the 6's and cross season to the spring classics, for me the season officially ends with L-B-L and the rest - training races.

In all seriousness though whilst I do like a GT, my psychotic enthusiasm has waned since Festina and it is only in recent years that it has started to grow again. I do feel that the GT's give all the filth that the sport can offer a chance to come out of the wood work, ex-dopers, current dopers, doping appoligists, those that claim doping is not aproblem, those that say they are innocent or that the good doctor had provided them with training plans and nothing else. Oh yes they'll all be there, shoulder to shoulder smiling at the cameras and whilst they grin we have to bear it.

Take a look at this years Giro, classic wins and glory for those with a strong anti doping ethos, i.e. Columbia and wins for those that have been tainted and for me will always smell of shit no matter how often they claim to shower in the light of innocence and purity. But that I guess is life, well at least life as far as Uncle Pat and his merry men will allow it be. There are plenty of riders turning a merry peddle that in my humble opinion, shouldn't be there, but hey ho, they are, so I'll not let then spoil my enjoyment of the race, I'll just shout bastard at the screen every now and then to make myself feel better (it doesn't, but hey, at least the neighbors think I'm crazy as a result)

Who's paying for Astana ?

Now pardon me, when Lancey boy joined the worlds most Kazak cycling team for free I thought nice move Lance. It now seems that as always Lance had done his homework and had realised that the team from the land of Borat were skint. So with faded jerseys they bravely carry on in the Giro.

Now we all know that what ever goes on in cycling the UCI will have a rule about it, well they may not have a rule that matches the circumstances exactly, but hey as they seem to make it up as they go along they will no doubt find a spare rule lying around, not doing anything and make it fit. So it was inevitable that the UCI should pull out the old favorite about teams not being allowed to ride green saddles on a Sunday and apply it to the Astana jerseys. Now as the colour hasn't changed they can continue to plug away for the rest of the race, it's only when they try to get a new sponsor that the UCI will dust down the rule book and seek to do their well practiced jobsworth routine.

So what do the UCI say? Well the UCI say that, and I quote "The UCI will not make any exceptions for Lance Armstrong or anybody else," - For Fuck Sake.
It would seem that the UCI understand the words 'not make an exception' in a different way to me then.
So, Lance not completed exactly 6 months of testing prior to a racing return like it says in the rules, never mind, make an exception, Vinokurov only banned for 1 year by his fed and the UCI don't bother to issue a 2 year ban like it says in the rules, never mind. Teams using aero TT bars that don't confirm to the rules for years, never mind, do nothing until a whole industry has grown up supplying them and then clamp down potentially putting business and jobs at risk, UCI publishing blood passport results like they promised - whoops, never mind.

So come July expect the Astana team to be called Livestrong and riding the tour in black and yellow. Now I don't have a problem with that, a team will keep going, the riders and staff will get paid, all is good. But for the UCI to find a high horse and get on it is about the highest form of bollocks you could ever wish to see.

Er,,,,, that's it for today.


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