Friday, 2 October 2009

Cadel Evans - My part in his glory

I like Cadel Evans, there I've said it.

It's 1988, I'm in Katherine, a small town in Australia's Northern Territory, I'd gone there to paddle a boat down the Katherine gorge. I spent a few days there and I'd spend each night in a (the only?) local pizza place, eating pizza and getting wasted on the local brews. Now this happen to coincide with the Tour stage win by a certain Sean Yates and each night would see me holding forth with a great passion about the wonders of cycling and how the locals should embrace their true sporting heroes. Forget Alan Border and Wally Lewis, no Phil Anderson, Alan Piper, Hubert Opperman, Danny Clark and Dunc Gray where the men their kids should look up to. I like to think that my polemic encouraged a certain Cadel Evans to take up the sport seriously and whilst I have no proof of this I think it's far too much of a coincidence to ignore.

What a difference a day makes.

What a day for a day dreaming boy...... Cadel Evans, love him or hate him, you certainly can't ignore him - cos if you do he'll slap your legs. Cadel has got where he is today through the brilliantly pushing to his limit and perfect timing or following wheels and not attacking, take your pick. Me I'm a fan, I'll always give Cadel a shout, sorry, that should read I'll always give Cadel a shout of encouragement, I reserve shouts of abuse for other riders.
I love it when Cadel gets called for being crap, now a Tour podium is not a sign of being crap is it? In my book it's either a sign of class and dedicated training or a sign of too many visits to the doctors, In Cadels case it's class and dedication if you ask me.
And anyway, putting his riding style aside, how can you not love a man who threatens to chop of a jurno head for stepping on his dog? How can you not warm to someone who walks into a press conference, throws his smashed helmet on the table and says 'there's your interview'.

Poor Ned...

My favourite Cadelism was an interview with Ned Boulting. After a good stage ride poor Ned interviewed Cadel and said 'People are now talking of you as a favourite' to which Cadel replied 'Only now eh...' with a look which said 'have you written a will?' . Class, just class.
Poor Ned, I think they must sit around in the ITV4 trailer picking which rider is most pissed off by the stage and then send Ned out to interview them, no wonder he looks happier at the Tour de Britain, the locals are so much more friendly.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Mistakes? I've made a few.

21 Months, why it seem like only yesterday.

We all make mistakes, we are after all human.
Amongst the mistakes I've made over the last couple of years have been, not tightening the stem on my training bike and going arse over head on the first hill I climbed, entering a bike race, entering a bike race that had a hill in it, etc etc. It's a reasonably long list, But to be honest I don't feel the need to apologise for any of them.

So imagine my surprise when Thomas 'Double' Dekker Admits after his B sample is positive that he ' regrets his mistake' and 'will apologise and be held accountable, where possible.'
How, just how is sticking a needle up your arse a mistake? What were you trying to hit that your aim was so poor you bent over, dropped you pants and as a result needle met crack? Thank God Thomas wasn't a javelin thrower or there would have been a few deaths by now.

Oh and this 'where possible' what the fuck does that mean? More crap doper double speak designed to wimp-out of naming names and helping to bring suppliers to the courts.
21 months, 21 months is the time from the sample being taken to the result of the B test being made public. Still not to worry, the UCI have it all under control and the dopers are on the run.

Two up, Two down.

Now far be it from me to sound of against the UCI or criticise the 'war on doping' or in anyway rant on in a negative, sarcastic and cynical way BUT. BBox & Cofidis get relegated from the Pro-Tour. So relegation to the lower division of cycling? What does this mean? Loss of a TdF place? Nope? Loss of a place at any other event run by ASO? Probably not, they are after all French. But lets for a moment suppose that the teams relegated weren't French what then? Pressure form a sponsor, pressure from the management? pressure from their home nations press? pressure on riders? pressure on coaches? pressure on doctors? Pressure to dope in order to get the wins that guarantee the points that guarantee a place at the top table?