Friday, 14 August 2009

An inglorious return

Well after a whole month of excessive coaching stuff, riders at champs, courses and even a little 'real world' work I'm back at the coal face of ill judged ranting and semi libelous cynicism.

Mind you my return is in no way as inglorious as Vinokourovs, back and back to his winning ways. I've no idea if his winning is in any way connected to his old ways or to new ways, but there you go, he's back.
He's talking joining Astana and Caisse d'Eparhne are talking 2nd sponsor to get Contador into the black. I mean why not, they've been riding for him all year and AC (That's Alberto Contador, not AC from Operation Puerto) has probable had enough of being tossed around at Astana, one day he was a number one and the next Lancey boy turned up, turned in a more than decent ride and then rode off with most of the team, and oh, he didn't get paid for a few months. Me thinks that if someone was to offer C d'E a tenner he'd be off.

BTW Vinokourov said "I wanted to go to all out. My goal was to test myself" - well I guess he knows all about testing.

And you thought the UCI were stupid!

Now I know I have, on occasion, let rip in the direction of the UCI, however, I should like to point out that the UCI are in no way better or worse than any other international governing body. A few weeks ago we had the world swimming champs and with it a slew of world records that is second only to the records set on the day 'Records began' (as in today was the wettest day since records begain). And was it all down to extra super training? nope, was it all down to new super 'juice'? - oh no, it was down to super fast costumes, made of I don't know what (and can't be arsed to find out) they allowed hundredths, tenths, seconds and in some cases days to be slashed of previous records. This of course caused much uproar, were they fair? Was technology taking over from good old fashioned hard work? Who was to blame? Needless to say FINA acted with UCI like efficiency and banned the suits, from next year, but hey they did something.
Not only did they ban them, but they issued an instruction that all future suits should be made from and get this, made from 'material' ! Genius, pure UCI genius. What the bloody hell are they made from now? Cabbages?

Le Tour de 2010, 78 teams apparently.

So, Le Tour is over and like all good soaps next years has started in earnest. Speculation about who will and who won't be there is building to such a crescendo that I can hardly stay awake. Apparently there will be a restriction on the number of teams with 20 being ASO preferred guess. Meanwhile there will be 3 new Radio Shack, Team Sky and team 'Is Sean Kelly still riding for them' along with the current 18 lucky recipients of the UCI's largess that, if my maths is correct is 21 and as we all know from school 21 will not fit into 20.
But you know what, this is cycling and we love nothing better than cold hard cash and cold hard publicity, Shack have Lancey boy and Sky has, well Sky has the worlds biggest media machine, Big Dave Brailsford and his meticulous planning and a super strong anti-doping policy, so they're riding then. Skill then? Well they had a decent Tour this year, not coming away with much, but aggressive and on the TV in a lot of breaks. And when compared to the pathetic showing from Lampre they look to be a shoe in.

But race day is still many months away, time for riders to change teams, time for twats to get busted and time for someone to win the odd race (The tour of Poland,that's an odd race). I suspect we will have a classic compromise and see all 21 on the start line. Still there's still time for a name or 2 to fall foul of the testers and spare eveyones blushes.


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