I’ve been watching the latest Lance saga with some bemusement. Like everyone else, I have heard and read a lot about the Lance accusations from past convicted cheats, read the blogs with anonymous comments that range right across the spectrum of opinions. I have an opinion, but it has only been formed from what information is available out there in the public realm, so I would have to say it is an Ill informed opinion. At the end of the day, I just do not know.
An amusing addition to the circus was The Yellow Wiggo’s rant at the reporter the other night. Have a gander at this. The Roar.
Once again cycling is being dragged through the mud for the sins of the past. The current crop of riders, as a collective, are probably some of the most tested athletes going round. There will always be cheats, and hopefully the testing regime will make it more difficult and harder for them to slip through the net.
“500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case”
I’ve heard that quote or some derivation of it mentioned so many times now that It appears to be folklore. Where did it come from? Is it true? A post on this site throws a lot of doubt on that quote line.
But at this site, there is no doubt with-a-single-tweet-cycling-superstar-lance-armstrong
You be the judge on whether it is possible to have 5oo tests in a career.
The USADA. There are many professional athletes who’s sporting life has been made hell. Righthly or wrongly, there are some that say that USADA appear hell bent on bringing Lance down, at any cost? And it seems the way Lance’s press releases go, that it will be at a significant cost. Many reputations will be burnt, many lawyers will come out slightly richer, but will there be a conclusive outcome? Who knows, but I’d suspect not. not me.
The witness statements will be seen from the Pro Lance supporters as being tainted, with no supporting evidence. Those on the other side will feel they have been vindicated. No one will win.
The interweb is so full of contradictory opinions, that on face value all appear to make valid statements, that it is hard to work out where I sit in the Lance matter. Have a look at this Opposing Views, or this The Wall Street Journal.
How about his old team mates who have been swept up for the ride. Guilt by association? I would hope not.
Who were some of Lances team mates during his reign.
Floyd Landis – Won the 2006 TdF but was stripped of the title in 2010 after a drug-control test demonstrated the presence of a skewed testosterone/epitestosterone ratio during stage 17. Landis maintained his innocence, until May 20, 2010, after almost four years of contesting the allegations against him, Landis admitted to continual doping and alleged that Lance Armstrong and many other top riders who rode on his team doped as well.
GEORGE Hincapie – one of Cadel Evans’ key Tour de France lieutenants. All round good guy, no taints, but reported to be giving testimony against Lance later this year.
Dave Zabriskie- Well respected, well liked, good Time Trialler, no taints, but reported to be giving testimony against Lance later this year.
Christian Vande Velde- current rider with Garmin Sharp, no taints, but reported to be giving testimony against Lance later this year.
Levi Leipheimer – In 1996, Levi tested positive for a banned substance. The violation and sanction was confirmed by the family, who claimed that Leipheimer had innocently used the allergy medicine Claritin D. Levi is now riding for Garmin Sharp.
Jonathan Vaughters – Garmin-Sharp team boss and former teammate of Armstrong, is also reported to be going to testify against Lance.
Johan Bruyneel – Director of Radio Shack Nissan. Also charged by USADA, as are several team doctors and associates.
All I know is that it is all very murky, and will be the subject of many a flat white over the coming years.
Rightio, on with the show
Weekly Tour wrap up
Thursday July 5, Stage 5: Rouen – Saint-Quentin 196.5km
Andre Greipel grabbed his second stage win (consecutive) outsprinting Matthew Goss, JJ Haedo and Mark Cavendish.
Friday July 6, Stage 6: Épernay – Metz 207.5km
Peter Sagan, uno, dos tres……..where will it end?
What a stunning start to his TdF career. For a young fella, he has an awesome kick. Poor old Gossie, just can’t seem to get that stage win.
This was the stage where that crash ended the tour for 9 riders who either pulled out because they could not finish the stage (broken bones) or who pulled out overnight. It also ended the tour hopes for some of the favourites, including Frank Schleck , Pierre Rolland, Alejandro Valverde and Michele Scarponi.
Ryder Hesjedal saw his GC hopes shattered as he lost more than 13 minutes and ended up withdrawing from the tour.
How did the crash happen? Rumours are that Pattachi (Lampre) removed his shoe covers and gave them to David Viganò who was putting them in his back pocket and couldn’t break when the pace slowed in front of him.
Saturday July 7, Stage 7: Tomblaine – La Planche des Belles Filles 199km
Christopher Froome worked for and with Brad Wiggins on the final climb up La Planche des Belles Filles, but found the legs to take on and beat Cadel in the last 100m of the brutal climb. That climb maxed out at 22%. Bradley Wiggins came in third.
Sunday – July 8, Stage 8: Belfort – Porrentruy 157.5km
Young Frenchman Thibaut Pinot won in front of a very excited home crowd and an even more excited race director Marc Madiot. Cadel crossed in second and Tony Gallopin 3rd. Bradley Wiggins was a very close 4th.
Monday – ITT
A Sky Team Blitzkreig saw Bradley Wiggins win over his teammate Chris Froomen by 35 seconds, with Nibali coming in 3rd. Cadel came in 6th 1″43 behind.
This saw Wiggo extend his lead over Cadel to 2.07, with Froome moving up into 3rd overall. l classification and strengthened Wiggins’s grip on yellow.
Tuesday – Rest Day
As you all know, Wiggins has the team, has the legs and has an almost insurmountable lead. What can possibly go wrong?
Of the favourites at the start of the race, there appear to be only 3 that can challenge Wiggins, with Cadel being the closest.
My first thought after the ITT was that the spectacle has almost been spoilt, almost. However with Wiggins taking such a commanding lead this early, will the pressure get to him and his team., or will he slowly put Evans to the sword, forcing him to make mistakes? The tactics will be fascinating over the next week.
Of course there are a few other riders that are there abouts as well, but with the exception of Froome, they appear too far back by now..
|1||Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling||39:09:20|
|2||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:53|
|3||Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling||0:02:07|
|4||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:02:23|
|5||Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team||0:03:02|
|6||Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan||0:03:19|
|7||Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan||0:04:23|
|8||Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:05:14|
|9||Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team||0:05:20|
|10||Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale||0:05:29|
My cycling team, SpecializedWomen SA is putting on a fundraiser (see attached flyer) & we’d love some help selling tickets in Adelaide pleeeeeease.
We’re screening the Men’s Olympic Cycling Road Race @
The Highway on Anzac Highway.
Saturday July 28th.
6.30pm til late.
$20 per ticket.
Could you please put the flyer up at work and/or ask some of your Adelaide mates please? Maybe you could get a crew together and go along on the night? Our Specialized Women’s team really appreciates your help 🙂
Let me know what you think.
Also, don’t forget the Ride Like Crazy Stage 11 showing.
Toy of the Week – AR-7 Small Caliber Rifle
Since 1959, the venerable AR-7 has been the choice of U.S. Air Force pilots who need a small-caliber rifle they can count on for survival should they have to punch out over a remote area. Over the years, the AR-7’s reputation for portability, ease of operation and reliability has carried over to the civilian world as well.
Website of the Week – Mont Ventoux
A resource provided by veloventoux cycling holidays.
The image is taken from a camera which is located approximately 10km to the north of Mont Ventoux in the beautiful village of Faucon. It is taken looking in a South Easterly direction and you can normally see the cleared triangle of land which is the Mont Serein ski area.