Aug 15 2006
Lots of cycling news out there to report, but I’ve been too busy slacking. I’ll start with the Classica San Sebastian, which was won by complete unknown Xavier Florencio. The Bouygues Telecom rider got the drop on the field by starting the group sprint from way out. I realize the underdog winner is a good story, but precious little attempt has been made to explain how this parcours ended in a 50+ man group gallop. Slow pace? Lackadaisical racing? C’mon – with all the journos out there getting paid to watch this event, can’t anyone just fabricate a reason for me? As far as I can tell, it’s never come down to a group of more than 5 or so. I’m hoping this year’s result won’t panic the organizers into adding another hill at the end, as happened at Amstel after Erik Zabel’s win; a flat finish to hilly classics is almost always exciting.
Anyway, now I gotta talk more about doping. Would this even be a cycling blog if I didn’t mention the Landis case? The lastest fallout is Phonak’s demise, but we all saw that coming. Bob Roll contributes his thoughts, while Lance Armstrong, who has thus far supported latest positive lieutenant, points out a few of Landis’ tactical errors. The Texan, harried throughout his career by largely unsubstantiated rumors of drug use, has proven a master at handling the media; Dick Pound, Ahab to the Texan’s White Whale, remains as fat-fingered with it as a teenage boy with a bra clasp. The WADA-chief’s latest claptrap eschews due process, demands wildly unreasonable powers for WADA officials, and displays such extremism and bull-in-china-shop ethics that no sane-minded person could ever take it seriously; rebutting directly would only lend it a legitimacy it most certainly does not deserve.