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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

back to same ...

well, with all the uber-insightful comments yesterday about what this next week of Tour racing will show us ... i was getting more and more hip on this year's edition.

and then we had Sinkewitz go and pee on the parade.

what a bummer.

And, if you add in the weird ass NPR interview with FLandis where he straight up shitkicks Lemond in the teeth as a lying drama queen ...

meh ~ the morale dropped a little.
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But, there was a hard-nosed breakaway to clap for in today's stage ... another guy wins who has associations with doping.

- - -

That's why we have grassroots heroes ...

With the cool Minty performances yesterday and Shelley Old's White Rock Omnium from a few days back ... the tides are still strong from the left coast. I am really psyched to see a bunch of locals signing up to race the big dawgs at this weekend's American Velodrome Challenge.

PROMAN is sending their new track queens, Easton's Mary Ellen-Ash is riding a wave of good form after winning some high-profile crits of late, the ever attacking Julie Granshaw should make a good show of it, and we'll finally get to see Mary Maroon try for some results as oppossed to her normal racing with the men for training.

It should be a fast and furious bit of action at the Hellyer'Drome this weekend.

For the Men-folk ... i'm really going to enjoy seeing how the BJM runs against a few of the establishment in the Points Race. What a frickin' hammerfest that is going to be.

In the Madison on Friday nite ... it's going to be mayhem. Me and CalGiant's Pat Dunaway have hooked up and actually might be able to sling one another with a bit of effectiveness around the oval. I'll admit it, I'm really looking forward to giving the Madison a bit of gas. The exchanges are suitably butt-clenching in nervosity ... but, i just love the interval aspect of the actual riding.

Ride like all hell for awhile, sit up and watch the action, ride like hell, sit up and watch ... perfect.

Still ... it's the Match Sprints that i'm most interested in watching. Talk about sneaking into some grad school classes.
- - -

ah well, gotta jet.


Velo Bella said...

you're killin me with that Lemond pic!

Velo Bella said...

and the german tv reaction? Thats just stupid.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i know ... canceling the coverage just because a guy got popped.

seems a little waa-waaa.

but, it's not like we can't say "they're all doping" ... and not have part of us quietly nod, hmmm, maybe.

and Lemond is soooo photogenic.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

triple non-negative ... he nailed it!

CyclistRick said...

Weird comments about Lemond, maybe, but weird does not equal wrong. If one is to believe Lemond then riders he does not know have confided their dark secrets to him. Seems a big stretch to me. Lemond does seem to like the limelight, and tends to show up whenever he can try to move the spotlight back to his career - which was great, but he does seem a bit strange these days.

Robin Horwitz said...

This Friday night at American Velodrome Challenge is going to be tons of fun.

The one I'm looking forward to the most is the Keirin. The motorcycle being ridden on by Peter Bohl will take off at about 30-35 mph.

Then the power being generated by those keirin riders will push up the pace to about 65-72 kph, generating enough power to light up the whole Bay Area.


I can't wait.

Robert said...

"A grass roots hero is something to be" or something close to it as Lennon penned.

German TV reaction - who can blame them. First their uber-hero then the saviour comes along and finally a way to knock a nail in the coffin.

Some quietly nod, but we all demand and deserve better from the guys that are so called "professional" in a sport we love.

Tripp Goldsberry said...

The Sinkewitz thing is depressing because it comes from one of the teams doing internal blood value testing. If guys on those teams are still going to dope, what hope is there? Also, was Sinkewitz in the midst of a bout of 'roid rage when he clocked that spectator?

veloandvino said...

ya think the UCI has the balls to make him pay a years worth of euros?

dr-nitro said...

I'm baffled by the Sinkewitz situation. First, another public notification before the B sample test. Second, why did it take so long for the results? Did they wait until the tour started to run the test? That's crap, since he surely would not have been allowed to start if the team had knowledge of the A sample. I guess I can see if there is a cue that the lab that tested it, but it still seems odd.

And the Lemond thing. Oprah-like, sure. But the fact is that that testimony would have never been allowed in a real court, let alone not letting a cross. I'm sorry, but if the labs cannot do their work correctly, then anti-doping agencies should not lean on hearsay to bolster their case.

Floyd is a tool. But the labs get paid a mint to do the tests, and the lab's work was sloppy as all get out. If Floyd was not such a tool, and surrounded himself with tools, then this case would have been resolved in his favor long ago.

dr-nitro said...

Oh yeah, OV, you're just bummed that your German Uberman let you down.

That said, it is not that often that the French can take it to the German. Although it took three to one odds to do it.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

poor Jensy ... talk about your reverse blitzkrieg.

as usual, you bring up very good questions/points about Slinkewitz. why do we get this press release? why the delay? who is in charge of this circus? etc...

but, the core issue(s) is more to what Winder reflects upon ... namely, what the hell we supposed to do, ya'll?

There is still part of me that wants to simply promote the idea that clean racing is cool racing. kind of like rocking it disco with the helmet to show that the helmet is cool.

but, that only goes so far ... though it is essential, in my opinion.

we do need ... rules and penalties. we need the sickle to cut down the weak who we can catch.

i don't proclaim Stinkawitz guilty because of an A-test for testeeterone ... but, it certainly doesn't look good for the young man. But, if we can ever come to some consensus that the testing (and reporting) procedures are confident and transparent ... then, i want lifetime bans for all dinged.

in the immortal words of Longshanks, "if we can't get them out, we'll breed them out."

dr-nitro said...

I disagree with Winder that Singleton is not the answer. Actually, I agree that he is not the only answer, but I do believe in what he is doing. He booted Gonchar when the in house testing showed an abnormality, and that shows to me that he is sincere. And Sinkewitz will get no pity, but Singleton cannot control everything.

Mix profession with passion, and you will have problems. There will always be cheaters. The historical problem is that the system produced and encouraged cheating, turning individuals who where passionate about cycling into pathological liars.

The system should be designed to catch the cheaters. And that system needs to be beyond reproach. It's sloppy now, and does not follow its own rules. You don't catch rule breakers by breaking the rules.

Anyway, if the system works, people will get busted, cuz there will always be cheaters. It's hard to tell these days, though, if news of someone getting caught is good or bad.

dr-nitro said...

Wait, wait, wait. I just notice the helmet comment. Are you saying that the flower is intended to make the act of wearing a helmet look cool? Oh my, you have a distorted vision of cool.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

well now you're just wanting to hurt my feelings...

Goober said...

Ah think yer flower looks purdy, son, and Ah'll whup the ass of any prevert who says otherwise.

dr-nitro said...

Goober, where you one of the local folk in the movie Deliverance? I hear banjos playing.

CyclistRick said...

Oh no, another doping scandal has just hit the wire.

Robert said...

Hoorah for discussions! Thank you for engaging, DR & Olaf... we can make a difference.

In my view Singleton is as complicit as Riis. That doesn't make him a drugie like Riis, but it does mean that he cannot control what he claims he can. And I'm fed up with anyone that makes false claims, not just calling out Singleton.

The point is that so long as there are wild expectations of riders there will be riders taking substances to live up to those expectations.

As you rightly point out DR, Singleton and Riis have to be part of the solution, a kind of holistic approach is needed.

The approach has to include the money sources and sponsors, the teams and managers, and finally the riders.

Ah yes, if we were to take young Max Jenkins* to one side for a while, we might get enough sense into him so when he disappears off to EuroPro Team in a little while he understand the difference between drug induced, zero value wins and the self-confidence of knowing that you can be the best with your natural talent and dignity in tact.

But we, as fans, also have a role to play, lets stop kidding ourselves that the Pro's really are that much better, they do an amazing job and I'm completely jealous of them. But they're not idol's to be held up adoringly without question. If they're ignorant or arrogant they are chastised by many as being aloof, but if they get great results we give it all up to them as though they'd just fixed world hunger.

Lets get real and keep questioning our heroes.

There I go again... all idealist, head in the clouds, etc, etc - I might just put a flower in my lid next time I go bopping.

* not suggesting anything about Max in anyway, just don't know of anyone else with as much obvious talent in the U23 category. Anyway, he probably already has enough sense to avoid anything fishy.

WarrenG said...

Those golfers pretending there's no need for steroids in golf-that's crap.

They get all kinds of muscle and ligament/tendon strains and inflammations-just the kind of thing that steroids would help in a significant way.

Tiger has good strength, and other guys wanting to get there too could/would benefit from using steroids for at least a few months of the year, and then occasionally during the season.

On the Sinkievitz thing, he got caught nearly a year ago, before the team's blood profiling program began, and no one has said they're including testing for every possible anabolic steroid out there. The team's testing is mostly aimed at detecting the use of EPO and other artificial blood aids.

And the manager at T-Mobile is Bob Stapleton, not Singleton, and not the Bill Stapleton that was Lance's agent.

dr-nitro said...

Well, I do think that Singleton is part of the answer. He, nor any manager, can completely stop cheating from happening. However, they can respond properly, and do their part to create an environment where competition is fair.

When teams were, and are, complicit in cheating, and agencies turn a blind eye, a prisoner's dilemma is created. The only rational way to compete at the top level is to play the game, and the game includes dope. Cycling is not alone in the dilemma. It is all of professional sport, when not properly governed.

This is a fight that requires individual and institutional responsibility. The rules of the game need to be changed such that the cost of cheating are greater than the benefits. And, as I said above, this will not completely stop cheating, but such a system will be much better at catching cheats. After all, the death penalty does not stop people from committing capital crimes.

Part of the problem is the idolization of sporting figures. That said, institutions can do little about that. That's a societal phenomenon. I personally respect the shit out of anyone who makes it to the pro ranks, because to get their, they had to have talent above and beyond the local talent pool.

But that does not make them a better person, just a better athlete. Lance is a dick, but from the time I first saw him kick butt in his day glow Subaru Montgomery kit, it was clear that he was a dick that could pedal others into submission. I have always been in awe of that talent, but I don't care to hang out and have a beer with him (I once did get to laugh at him while he was throwing a tantrum at a door person at a bar in Altoona PA for not letting in the great Lance, all of 20 and unknown then, into a local watering hole).

Anyway, the Sinkewitz situation stinks. But I don't see it as evidence that the T-Mobile regimen is not working. They don't test for testy, and they should not need to if the UCI is doing their job. And in this case, it appears as though they may have.

Little_Jewford said...

blabla...drugs...bla...lemond...bla bla...landis...bla...he touched my no no spot...bla bla..roids...bla bla...(insert thesis length philosophical debate of drugs and sports here)

fast chicks on track there is something more interesting to talk about...

bummed I'll be missing the AVC...reality is intruding


Robert said...

WarrenG - Singleton, Stapleton... got it right on my blog, but wrong in the comment.

DR - I think we're close to agreement, it is the responsibility of the team management, sponsors, riders and us as fans. Maybe its the way that Stapleton has been held up in some quarters as the saviour that causes my reaction in his direction.

I agree that pro's should be respected, it wasn't my intention to say otherwise. However, like you, I think we have to call them as we see them. Like you did with Lance.

We can also be part of the institutional change that is required, and I hope that all of us are willing to play a part.

Sinky stinks, so does anyone else that does drugs, whether they're caught or not.

Now we've fixed that, the only issue left is to regain confidence in the pro-ranks... thats easier for me because I love the sport, I'm going to watch the TV because it's cycling. For the unwashed masses though that may take more time and each new case is another nail in the coffin.

It's ride time.

dr-nitro said...

I meant to say Stapleton. There are a few other grammatical mistakes in my rant, but I do think that we are for the most part on the same page.

I don't like the hypocrisy, though, of the media, and even the Tour organizers. They need to cover this as a professional sports problem, and understand that part of what we are seeing in cycling is a result of looking. Conditional probability, people.

It is really tough as a fan, though, to understand what you can do.

giovanni said...

I listened to that hole landis interview on npr the other day.

it was really lame. I didn't know if I should be depressed or angry afterwards. you got to expect Landis to say whatever he says, I think he has been practicing. it was pretty smooth. but NPR is supposed to be credible... and they let flyod stage the whole thing. total one sided. no challenge to his over the top statements at all.

I think he was reading powerpoint slides again. so was the host. landis even had his buddies call in and set things up for him.

maybe that is part of the deal when celebs give interview... lame.

Grey said...

i agree with little jewford.

i don't want to listen to that interview.