Jun 28 2006
It’s a sad day for cycling. And this time, it’s not because of the drugs. Jaan Kirsipuu‘s astounding streak of 13 consecutive Tour de France DNFs will be coming to an end this July (I put that one in DeepQuote to point out Eurosport’s outrageous copy error). What’s even more infuriating is that Kirsipuu’s likely replacement, Julian Dean, admits that in “earning” his Tour spot, he employed a good deal of motopacing. Jaan Kirsipuu would never motopace, mostly because at 180lbs, he’s larger than the majority of European cars. The bitter icing on this half-baked pastry is that Credit Agricole will most likely justify this blunder by saying they’re trying to “defend” the points title Thor Hushovd won last year; never mind that the Norwegian failed to win a single stage, and only took the maillot vert to Paris because Tom Boonen abandoned and headbutting is illegal.
In another one of those “how is it that you keep your job, again?” stories, the head of Spain’s cycling federation has gone on record as saying he’s had long-standing “suspicions” about the characters caught up in the “Operation Puerto” scandal. “Suspicions”? You had “suspicions”? Would that be because Jesus Manzano told you what was going on two years ago? Would that be because Vincente Belda, one of the people named by Manzano, is still active in cycling? Would that be because Manolo Saiz, who ran ONCE during the Festina Affair, is the same guy who managed Isidro Nozal during his sudden leap in ability and later high crit test? Or is it because that same Manolo Saiz also managed Roberto Heras during his ’05 Vuelta “win” and subsequent EPO positive, and has had a series of riders come up with other drug-related issues? Were these the things that gave you suspicions? Man, somebody call up Interpol and get this super-sleuth a desk.