Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Not About Him

A Failure to Communicate: So I see that Ivan Basso, who just the other day was waxing poetic about his amiable relationship with Bjarne Riis and his fond intention to start the Tour of Denmark, was quite close in time in fact unceremoniously suspended indefinitely by CSC. I'm sure it was just a minor miscommunication due to the language barrier though.

Meanwhile, what the ^%&* is up with the Vuelta? Sastre not being certain to start I can understand--he whacked himself in the Giro for Basso, he was thrust into unexpected team leadership pressure in the Tour--and Petacchi I guess is still on the DL (though it's nice to see he's training) and Boonen's probably out, but I don't think of the Vuelta as a sprinter's game in any case. But can someone please explain to me why Beloki Nozal Paulinho Davis and Contador plus basically all the Comunidad Valencia riders have been cleared by the Spanish courts and they're still not being cleared to ride the thing? Okay, maybe Labarta and Saiz weren't as discreet as they might have been, and perhaps their positions can occasionally wield some slight influence over a rider. (Of course, that tool Saiz has utterly disavowed that possibility in his eagerness to sell Heras down the river. But I digress.) But if they're cleared, and you think they ought to have been cleared, then clear them to race, and clear them fast. In fact, I hear it can be somewhat advantageous to know if you are supposed to be training for a grand tour and not a ride to the local unemployment office. And if you still think they did something, and that they just haven't been stupid enough to get caught at it in a lab sample, or if you think the Spanish courts or investigators are incompetent, then grow a spine and spit it out already. And while we're at it, does it absolutely kill anyone else to see the press refer to "2005 defending champion Denis Menchov"? Aaaaiiigggghhhh! Oh, Roberto...

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