Saturday, August 25, 2007

Le Monde According to LeMond

No Love Lost: yes, Greg LeMond has made his antidoping prescription public, saying he told Christian "Dick" Prudhomme at the Tour (1) to get rid of UCI (right on Greg!), though Pat "Dick" McQuaid's at least tried to nip the problem (and a fine job he's done this season, at that); (2) lower the ridiculous hematocrit level to something actual non-bionic human beings can approach; (3) increase the antidoping penalties but give Stasi credits to informants to encourage every whining doping-but-still-losing sour-grapes Manzano to tank their more-successful friends; and (4) sequester all the riders 2 hours before the race to keep 'em clean. So let's see, this would leave, so far as I can tell---unless we're really talking individual little plastic isolation pods like Spinal Tap got caught in--the DSes, soigneurs, and best of all, fellow riders, all in handy contact during the Wait of Purity. Well, certainly none of those guys would ever be complicit in another rider's doping! Still and all, big points to LeMond for trying, and particularly for smack-talking Lance without enough specificity to set his lawyers slobbering unduly by opining that certain teams could too find sponsors if they chose, but the ones that don't just aren't because they know the investigators are right on their @#$es and they're all gonna go down if they stay in the game. He's just talking about Unibet I'm sure!

Dates With Destiny: and, I'm feeling pretty twitchy about Iban Mayo's B sample, due to be released by the honest unbiased do-gooders over at UCI this past Friday but now due the day after tomorrow instead. No news is never good news--either he's definitively nailed, and the torch-wielding bastards just wanted Iban to really enjoy his weekend, or else they've gone all Floyd Landis on the poor boy, completely screwed up somewhere again, and are just working out the kinks to fry him anyway. Oh Iban! Thinking of Spaniards who can't win for losing, I see that the Spanish cycling fed is on the warpath defending their choice of Alejandro Valverde for the Worlds, particularly, I imagine, since the Germans are hardly in a position at the moment to go all high-horse on other people's dopers, but interestingly, I've yet to hear an explanation whether it was Alberto Contador's or the cycling fed's decision to leave their new maillot jaune hero off the team. Anyone?

A Diplomat He Ain't: hooray! it's merely days to the second most fabulous stage race on earth, and Robbie McEwen, unwillingly taking a sprint at the Eneco Tour, thanked his managers at Predictor for the opportunity by blasting them yet again at the finish for completely screwing him out of the Vuelta and generally ruining his life. Shopping for a new team, are we? Hell, if Petacchi gets his one-year suspension, there might be an opening over at Quick Step... In other contract speculation, Levi's looking more and more like a Predictor prospect as Team Slipstream takes on Tommy Danielson, though Jonathan Vaughters wasted no time saying that while he's convinced Danielson can indeed take a stage win or two at the Tour someday, and can otherwise pull off a one-day victory under the right conditions (thanks for the vote of confidence Jonathan!), he's definitely not one for Grand Tour overall contention, which means they, unlike Predictor, still need a Grand Tour GC contender after all. Comet ascendant Contador, meantime, appears in some trouble, as Rabobank sez that while they didn't contact Contador, Contador definitely contacted them, but with the team already all freaked about Michael Rasmussen and presumably further displeased that he sort of implicated team management in his whole training-location weaselry, I'd be surprised if, especially on the heels of running like rabbits from the Tour, they really want to take a chance on someone everyone seems convinced is, if for no other reason than his mentorship by Manolo Saiz, somehow linked to Operacion Puerto. Oh come on--no one's punishing fellow Liberty Seguros ingenue Luis Leon Sanchez over it!

Roberto Heras Doping Ban Countdown: nope, he's still not off the hook til after the Vuelta, though if the 2006 contract season is any lesson he ought not to have too big a problem scamming at least a DS deal with a continental squad so long as he promises to wah-wah up someday, but I see Denis Menchov is riding the Vuelta. Dammit!

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