(Is that a good headline or what?)
The UCI today made an official statement on l’affair Armstrong today. Aside from being a huge expansion on their previous statement, it also seems to be a flying leap into Armstrong’s corner, adminstering sternly-worded slaps to both l’Equipe and WADA chief Dick Pound (who I’ve been calling an overrighteous zealot for months):
“the UCI confirms its commitment to investigate how and why confidential information was disclosed to members of the news media. In particular, we deplore the fact that the long-established and entrenched confidentiality principle could be violated in such a flagrant way…”
” We regret once more, that WADAâ€™s President Mr. Pound made public statements about the likely guilt of an athlete on the basis of a newspaper article and without all the facts being known…”
While the UCI statement marks a pretty serious step in clearing the smoke surrounding what has been the major cycling news story this month, things only get more cloudier at he Vuelta. Today’s stage, after being re-routed several times (the third course to be altered day-of-race in this year’s event, ended as Davitamon-Lotto’s Mauricio Ardila mistook a KOM point 200 meters from the finish for being the finish, and raised his arms. Second-place finisher Oscar Periero just kind of looked confused and eventual stage winner Samuel “Dirty” Sanchez of Euskatel-Euskadi shot by both for the win, laughing like a luncatic. For those who want to know more, Pez seems to do the best job of sorting out the day’s mayhem. Live Reports are also available from cyclingnews, VeloNews, Eurosport and Daily Peloton.
Finally to some rider news I have been overlooking of late: Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, former wearer of the Yellow Jersey, is retiring, saying he has accomplished all he can in his career. Who shall take his place in the Spanish peloton? Why, North Americans, of course. Charles Dionne of Webcor and Colavita’s Aaron Olsen, who are each going to Saunier Duval, a team known for going through Americans like most people go through socks. Good luck, guys, and try to get people to buy Prodir’s crappy pens (because that’s pretty much the only reason why you’re there.) In brighter news for Americans, Saul Raisin (who?) came in second behind Credit Agricole teammate and track star Brad Wiggins in yesterday’s Tour l’Avenir stage. His prize? A sweet polka dot jersey! Awesome. That makes two Yankee-Doodles getting a piece of leader’s jerseys at this year’s Baby TdF. And they haven’t even been accused of doping yet, either!