I was planning on remaining silent about Le Tour. I have watched bits of it here and there, and have been enjoying it. Then the news of Vino failing a blood test broke this morning.
Are any of us surprised?
It’s the second positive test in this tour, and along with speculation about Rasmussen, the race has become what everyone thought it would be. A joker parade full of cheaters and liars.
At least that is how the general public sees it.
I read this ridiculous quote this morning, before the Vino story broke, in regards to Rasmussen:
“With all this speculation around him it would be better if somebody else were to win,” UCI chief Pat McQuaid told The Associated Press on Monday. “The last thing this sport needs is more speculation about doping.”
McQuaid added, however, that the Danish rider has “broken no rules, so from that point of view … you have to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
The benefit of the doubt? So giving him the benefit of the doubt, is hoping someone else wins. Why are the people who govern the sport so idiotic? Why are they good at only saying stupid, unprovoked comments, that do nothing in helping the image of the sport?
Despite the idiocy of the suits, nothing seems to compare to the outright arrogant invincibility of the riders themselves. What would motivate Vino to blood dope, after going down with the ship last year, he comes back triumphant in ’07, a race favorite, both on the road and off it. And he cheats.
To what end?
The end of the sport if this goes on much longer.
Sponsors are going to pull their money out of the teams, the races, and the riders. What’s left? a bunch of skinny Euro’s with nothing to do but sit in a pub and talk about what could have been…
I found these two headlines to be just priceless. Posted within 24 hours of each other:
I guess most of all I am disappointed in what the Tour is today. Cheating has always been a part of Pro Cycling. But now it seems, that cheating is defining Pro Cycling. What do people remember about last year? The great Landis ride in stage 17? No, they remember the doping allegations.
What will they remember this year? The spectacular climbing of Rasmussen? The numerous crashes early on? The Aussie bad luck? The return of Iban Mayo?
Thanks Vino. Thanks for assuring another year of post race garbage.
UtRiderJuly 24, 2007
Yeah, the current situation within profession cycling is both comical and depressing at the same time.
However, keep in mind that cycling is not defined by what the pros do or don’t do. I don’t ride because Vino rides or enjoy climbing because Rasmussen or Contador can fly up mountains. Rather, I ride because it’s fun, challenging and allows me to escape the routine and explore new places.
Professional cycling may take some serious hits in terms of sponsorship and popularity as a result of the positive doping controls but will that – or should that – have any impact on how or why I ride a bike? No way. Like you’ve said many times before, cycling is about the journey, the process of achieving goals and exploring your personal limits.
I think it’s fine to look to the pros for entertainment and enjoyment but find inspiration and motivation inside yourself.
KrisJuly 24, 2007
Adam, you summed it up pretty well – good rant. It’s a high-stakes gamble these pros play with doping. Get caught, banned for years. Don’t get caught, maybe win a Tour.
And, yes, the Tour organizers and anti-doping people are not helping matters. Is the cure worse than the disease? This article about Dick Pound (WADA) made me wonder – anti-doping almost has an Inquisition feel.
I didn’t really understand the doping temptation until I read this article. If doping can make that much difference for an amateur, think what it can do for a Pro. All the Pros are maxed out physically so doping gives them the edge over their rivals. Hard to resist with so much at stake.
And while it’s sad to see these Pros fall and cycling get yet another stain, I agree with UTrider that it doesn’t affect me much. I have my personal resons for why I ride (which Adam pondered in his previous post – ironic). Not that it would ever happen, but doping has made me wary of getting really serious about cycling – the pressure and temptation aren’t worth it.
Just a stray thought: I hope our local boy David Z. has been keeping his nose clean.
Adam LisonbeeJuly 24, 2007
I agree guys, no amount of doping scandals will change the way I feel on my bike. I ride and compete because it is a way to challenge myself. I also get an immense amount of joy from riding.