Dec 1 2007
You know what would simplify my life times infinity? If Cyclingnews gave itself a bloody RSS feed. Every day I have to open my browser, open a new tab, wait for the page to open, wait for pictures to load, scroll down, open a million different tabs for all their latest news, breaking news, etc., then I have to see if they have any new tech features, interviews, or race results. What is this, 1998? No links to them until they fix the problem.
But speaking of 1998 – who remembers that year? It was supposed to be Jan Ullrich’s second Tour win in the decade of domination a cancer-stricken Lance Armstrong thought Ullrich would bring to the mighty Telekom team. After all, they’d won in 1996 with EPO – I mean, Bjarne Riis – and again in ’97, with some plucky 23-year-old named Jan Ullrich. I guess it would be an understatement to say that things have changed.
But why now? Why not ten years ago, after the biggest scandal in the history of the Tour? You’d have to be an awfully ripe shade of naive to think that an old-school Eastern Bloc rider (caught in an internal test), and a stupid, Pat Lefevere-bred kid were what sank this ship. Even the fall of Germany’s greatest cycling icon couldn’t kill T-Mobile. Granted, it sure didn’t help – but the death blow came from elsewhere.
As John Wilcockson glosses over to the point of apology, T-Mobile was killed by the German media, particularly the state-funded ADR and ZDF networks. You may recall some outcry in Germany over public funds being used to possibly at the Stuttgart worlds. I hope the German public is happier to see that their money has instead stymied free enterprise.
But at least Patrick Sinkewitz gets the satisfaction of successfully stabbing the German Cycling Federation in the back. After “cooperating” (Me? Why me? I don’t know anything about it”) with the authorities, his sentence was reduced to a year, meaning he’ll be back this July. IN acknowledgment of this benevolvence, Sinkewitz announced that the federation knew about his doping all along. I bet squads are just lining up to rehire this guy.