Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mayo d'Oro

Well, not really of course, but we love Iban anyway for finally making a heated if brief attack on the final mountain stage, even if it's not going to be enough to get Euskaltel to cough up more dough or satisfy heartbroken yet still stalwart tifosi. Just wait til next year! Meanwhile, dear little Sastre was cruelly knocked off the podium after a huge climb where he was mostly able to fend off Kaschechkin's attacks for third, until Vino as always popped like a champagne cork off the front, Kaschechkin beautifully bridged the gap, they could work together there on out and it was completely over for Sastre. Dammit! Well, he busted himself for Basso in the Giro, and handled the pressure of impromptu team leadership in the Tour extremely handsomely, so who can be too sorry over what will still be (particularly under the circumstances) an excellent result in the Vuelta? Viva Carlos!

Back in the world of slutty intrigue, as to the botched EPO tests of foot-racer Marion Jones and the testosterone test of Floyd Landis, Dick Pound remains convinced that "in the long run, the system works." Cold comfort I'm sure, on the off chance that Landis really is innocent, to the highly talented but at the moment dime-a-dozen Phonak riders still desperate for new contracts, and the soigneurs, masseuses, mechanics, doctors, and support staff that're also out of jobs at Phonak as a result.

Over at Discovery, in addition to the righteous slams by Armstrong we can all spout in our sleep, Discovery is considering "all legal options" aginst Frankie Andreu. As Lance points out, "we've never had an athlete test positive. I think that's a strong statement." Yep, it's a strong statement all right--a statement that the riders are good at cheating and that the testing efficacy is crap. Andreu never tested poz; neither did his fellow 1999 Tour team Mystery Man, who notes that there was indeed an unwritten (Dr. Fuentes: pay attention! Un-written!) rule on the team that you were expected to. Neither did Tyler Heras Landis, or, outside the Team of Sainthood, Ullrich or Basso. Well, I'm sold, Lance!

Of course, Discovery (which in its current form anyway has no pony in this race anyway)'s whining that WADA and UCI ought to investigate and crush Andreu now, which'd surely encourage those sincerely intent on confessing their sins and baptizing the repentant sport anew to come forward. And, in more pointless flogging, UCI contacted USA Cycling and requested that it open disciplinary proceedings against Tyler, again, this time over his (or his wife Haven Parchinski's) dope-addled contact with Fuentes years ago. What's the point, already? El Pais gacked up these allegations over the summer. Tyler's been out for two years already. He's not gonna get up to speed to take his grand tour win before his advancing age precludes it anyway. Why even bother? The good example's been set. Or should he have fessed up like David Millar on much crappier evidence and we'd all be waxing rhapsodic over what a sterling example he is to malleable trike-riding Hinaults-of-the-future everywhere? Y'know, when the egomaniacal grandstanding prosecutors make you more sick that the cheating crooks they're hunting, it's time to rethink the system. Speaking of which, I see the German authorities took a sample of Jan Ullrich's DNA on his honeymoon home raid, and if there's anything more squicky than the spectre of some latex-glove-clad perv rooting through one's linens looking for a stray hair or glomming on to one's toothbrush, I'm hard pressed to think of what it is.

On to the time trial!

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