BikeBiz's Carlton Reid writes about the creation of the FFF with some interesting details missing in other articles.
Pez looks at the Tours vs. ProTour, especially their claimed right to refuse admission on the basis of "damage to the image" of their events. He isn't thrilled about that part.
VeloNews Friday mailbag publishes a letter addressing the science of performance enhancement:
Science of performance enhancement still not understood
I'm amazed how many readers are still tying their Floyd Landis hopes to the "innocent until proven guilty" defense. The identical finding on the second sample removes almost all doubt in the eyes of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The chance of testing or handling errors of both samples is remarkably small. Although the process used by the UCI to announce Landis's initial positive result was completely FUBAR, it does not diminish the certainty of the test results.
What is clear to me in all this is that the science of how performance-enhancers metabolize or remain in athletes at a cellular level is not well understood, especially by the athletes. I think the Landis case will turn out to be a shot over the bow at those who think they can successfully mask the use of recovery agents like testosterone during out-of-competition periods, and who assume there is no chance that it will pass out of the system in urine weeks down the road.
That said, I do think the pro riders should demand that both the initial and backup samples be tested in a manner that discriminates between a natural and synthetic testosterone finding. Having the ratios out of whack is one thing; having them out of whack because of the presence of synthetic substance is damning.
At the Bicycling Mag web site, Liz Reap-Carlson gives a delightful account of the Witt Memorial.
VeloNews covers the FFF opening with a me-too story.
Neil from Road magazine gives snippets of his most recent interview with FL, and asks for comments on blogs (among other things):
Landis: I don’t have any direct connection (to the blogs). I will sometimes give some information to Trust But Verify blog or if someone wants some information I’ll tell them, but I have no control over what they say. They are going by what their opinion of what is available, which is everything. Some of them put a lot of work into it, especially the guy from Trust But Verify. He does a very good job.
Damn, now they'll think we're a house organ! Floyd, you were supposed to say, "for a guy who says he wants to be helpful, he sure puts up a lot of stuff that pisses me off. Strbuk even sent some kick-ass brownies to fatten me up. Those people are evil. Amazingly complete, but evil."
Neil@Road (in his personal blog) shares "Floydisms" that will not likely make the interview cited above. One of them was yesterday's "Floyd of the Day".
Captainrecursion posts his "mad 20" for the year past and puts Landis at #10, noting that LA was a tough act to follow.
Passion Velo, french (translated) talks about FFF, citing Le Equipe and AFP. Doesn't give the URL, but doesn't slam the idea either.
Triple Crankset wonders what to do with an extra few bucks?
Rant devours the Lelangue article, and comes to some uncharitable conclusions.
UltraRob says Leadville registration forms (to get into the lottery) are on-line. Line forms to the right.
Trudi B gave us a nice plug on Dec 31, but the link to here is a broken http:///. Time for more Cherry Garcia.
Penny thinks Landis is the douche of the year. I guess Lij isn't a pen-pal.
At Topix, new poster "ricki bobbi" from Germany offers this assessment:
bike racing is a STUPIDLY hard sport and there is a selection effect for the type of personality that is usually attracted to the top levels. I raced at a high national level, not pro, but within spitting distance and I really hated it, I just happened to be good at it. I mostly hated the people involved, macho mean, sullen, the humor of a room full of germans and willing to stand unbelievable amounts of pain and with the ethics of poker players. So, given this, and many people would corroborate my assessment, why "go to bat" for any of the top riders.(I could go into detail about some of the former TdF champs, very twisted people) Lemond was actually decent, to a large extent which resulted in him getting f--ked over by Hinault, but he was still simply a bike racer. Armstrong and now it appears, Landis are more typical, and thats fine, but lets not argue how wonderful or not these people are as people, thats not what matters for bike racing. For some reason we need athletes to fulfill too many roles. Now its pretty clear with Landis,(the synthetic testosterone) that something was amiss, too bad, unfortunately, not surprising, no matter how much we want it to be otherwise.
I'll nominate "the humor of a room full of germans and willing to stand unbelievable amounts of pain and with the ethics of poker players" as being right up there with Vemo's comment about TBV, saying our work "rivals the physical effort of a long distance ride, without the fun and exhilaration."
At rec.bicycles.racing, MagillaGorilla returns to form and excoriates the FFF in this thread. The equally provocative DupedCylist says, "Lance treats Leadville like his kids, skips appearance."