Dec 7 2007
You gotta feel for the people of Kazakhstan. They’re totally bummed the rest of the world thinks their country is so backward, but damn if their government doesn’t just suck at convincing people otherwise. Take this who Vinokourov situation – first, they say he’s innocent, then, in the face of overwhelming evidence, they find Vino’ guilty and suspend him for…half the mandated sentence. Just so happens that decision would have made him eligible for the ’08 Olympics, but fortunately the 34-year-old decided he’d rather retire instead – he blamed anti-Kazakh sentiment for the decision. Unbelievable.
Kind of the opposite thing going on in Germany, really – there, the state (well, the media, but those dirty socialists make it hard to tell where one begins and the other ends) seems fixated on demolishing the international reputation of its cyclists. Word now from some German magazine or other is that five T-Mobile riders snuck back to Freiburg between the prologue and the first stage of the ’06 Tour. Examining the before and after, it sure doesn’t sound too far fetched – and let’s not forget Kesslers’ stage win. But this couldn’t possibly be the case, because he’s staying on Astana which totally clean thanks to the new management of Johann Bruyneel, who has never been associated with a suspected rider. Ever.