Crashing Le Fête Dopage

Mar 23 2009

Crashelbacher has but one nickname, and it ain't Der Hasi. Well I suppose I should by psyched about this. Austrian doping authorities did their best to fire up a witch hunt by investigating a mysterious 32-year-old cyclist known only as “K”, and it’s safe to say that very few pixels have gone to waste in speculation of his identity. Perhaps even more amazing is that crashes are gobbling up the headlines and the fellow on the left here isn’t in a one of them. Did I mention he’s Austrian? No?

Anyway, crashes are the story of the day, probably because of the quarter million or so Twitter users taking daily inspiration from Lance Armstrong. Sure, there were other tumbles, but Stuart O’Grady smashing himself into a million pieces is practically a seasonal occurrence, and when Farrar goes down, it’s with such flare that the world can’t help but take notice.

But Lance Armstrong has always been pretty steady on a bike. The only other rash of crashes I can recall from his career was during his first comeback, back in 1998. Is it rust? A lost step? I give the Texan a lot of crap, but he looked better than any man ought to after three years off the bike, sitting in comfortably for an intense 310k training ride.

Word is the fracture is no biggie, and I can’t imagine Armstrong putting to much stock in his Castilla y Leon performance. Still, what the man formerly known as the Iguana needs most now is racing miles and that’s the one thing he can’t get with his collarbone all ganked up. Word on the street seems to be that the Giro’s a no-go now, but I get this feeling that come May he’ll be raring to tear it all the way to Milan, or, in the classic tradition of the Alamo, (metaphorically) die trying.

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