Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Late Roundup

For more information from earlier today see The Sunday Early Roundup.


News

ESPN/DeSimone writes of today's ceremonial route:

During Sunday's "ceremonial" 90.7-mile stage from the southern suburbs of Paris into the heart of the world's most elegant city, the peloton will pass through a very special destination at the 74-kilometer mark. Here's what the Tour's official "Guide Touristique" has to say about it:

"Chatenay-Malabry: Cyclists are very familiar with the name of Chatenay-Malabry, as it is the headquarters of the national anti-doping research centre, which unfortunately confirms many positive tests on the Tour."

[. . .]

Stage 20 also traverses Issy-les-Moulineaux, home to the corporate headquarters of the company that runs the Tour, Amaury Sports Organisation. Another one of ASO's holdings is the daily sports newspaper L'Equipe.

This could work out splendidly. The lab techs at Chatenay-Malabry could stand on the side of the road like the team staff members (called soigneurs) who hold feed bags (musettes), only instead of loading them with protein goop and tiny sandwiches and cakes and mini-colas, they'd be full of urine and blood test analysis results.

The Tour riders -- who all signed documents before the race swearing to do all they could in the effort to cleanse cycling of performance-enhancing drugs -- could act as bike messengers, picking up the packets and delivering them straight to the L'Equipe newsroom, where they usually wind up anyway.


DeSimone writes in another excellent piece that cycling needs to face its' history, both good and bad, with honesty and consistency:

Fallen star Jan Ullrich, who still denies cheating despite a Category 1 pile of evidence against him, will probably never race again -- yet his old Telekom teammates Erik Zabel (a sprinter for the German Milram squad) and Rolf Aldag (T-Mobile sports director), who owned up to taking part in Telekom's systematic doping program back in the 1990s, are still on Tour.

Tour officials said they were glad Team CSC owner Bjarne Riis stayed home after his retroactive confession to doping in the 1990s, yet French star Richard Virenque, a central figure in the 1998 Festina scandal who took two years to admit to the obvious, is welcomed along the route as a Eurosport network commentator.
Those are only a couple of the many examples.


She also makes mention of the very conspicuous absence of Floyd Landis, both in body and somewhat in print:
When the peloton climbed the Col de la Colombiere this year on its way to the Stage 7 finish at Le Grand Bornand in the Alps, the live race report scrolling below the video feed listed previous riders who reached the summit first. Landis' name carried an asterisk and a mention of his positive drug test. That punctuation only accentuated the standing irony that the previous two names on the list belong to Virenque and the late Marco Pantani.


FOX Sports thinks the Tour finally went after dopers, and this has turned the corner for the sport.

ESPN has Bobby Julich journaling for them this year as he did not compete in the Tour de France. He feels the right people are on the podium, that is barring anything like the ongoing Landis scandal from last year.

Vail Daily columnist
writes of the joy of moral support. No Landis content, but a good story, and we could use one.

Planet Chiropractic.com says that chiropractors are the REAL heroes of the Tour de France.


Blogs
Group News Blog revisits today's final TdF stage and speaks about the uncertainty of the doping charges against Floyd Landis.


Dagan81 on the Chicago bears message board thinks ESPN somehow conspired with Greg LeMond , among others, to destroy the reputation of Floyd Landis.

American Patrol
thinks that Americans came in first and third this year in the TdF, which makes with Floyd Landis' victory last year, if allowed to stand, the ninth consecutive win for a Yank. Too bad Alberto Contador is a Spaniard.

Vandermint
may have his tongue planted firmly in his cheek when he says that Lance Armstrong couldn't have cheated, then again he calls Floyd Landis a jackass, wonder if he means that?

The Acropolis says that America has forgotten the Tour de France.

This Blog is About What?
thinks that though cycling has its' problems, sports writers need to shine a light on other sports with problems too.

Keith Burgess-Jackson analyzes this year's TdF and says that next year's will be wide open with Floyd Landis back to compete again.

Rant has lots to says as the Tour de France ends for another year. He feels detentes among the cycling powerful must be accomplished in order for cycling to continue and leave behind the scandals of the past. Rant also feels that it's about time we got a decision in the Landis case, the arbitration watch continues.

39x23
rants in fine angsty form:
I hate Alexander Vinokourov. I hate Tyler Hamilton. I hate Roberto Heras. I hate Ivan Basso. I hate Doctor (if that isn't a fucking oxymoron) Fuentes. I hate Johann Museew I hate Floyd Landis. ...and I hate his stupid fucking idiot friend who called LeMond. I hate all of them. All of bastards I can remember and those that I can't who crush my faith every time I fucking turn around. I hate the fact that there are so few riders who have the balls to just stand up and call out these fucking cheats. Where is Hincapie, Leipheimer, and old what's his name... Armstrong? I hate that my sport has as much credibility as professional wrestling. I hate justifying the most beautiful sporting event in the world to fat-ass football fans. I hate even thinking about it anymore.

I hate you, Vino for what you've done. Today I really do.

And I hate the rest of you too. Fuck all of you.

Scavenger repeats the thought that the Tour is too long, and that leads to doping.

Sports Watchers snarks,

Last year’s winner, Floyd Landis, still holds the official title as the 2006 Tour de France winner. However, with all of the disdain and angry sentiment against him, he certainly can't celebrate his championship publicly, nor will the public celebrate it privately.

PR-Inside says dope scandals provide "entertainment"

Fat Cyclist Fake News Service quotes Clerc as making a pre-emptive announcement:
“I want to be the first to congratulate whoever wins the 2007 Tour de France. You are truly a great champion, and ASO thanks you for making our business possible. While we do not yet know who will win the Tour, I feel it is vital we acknowledge that person as the pinnacle of strength, conditioning, and personal sacrifice he undoubtedly must be.”

“Next,” continued Clerc, “I’d like to take this opportunity to accuse the aforementioned winner of using unscrupulous and nefarious methods to obtain this prize, and hereby accuse him — whoever he is — of doping.”


He continues with Mr. Pound making comments that are so close to what he really says that the line between satire and reality begins to fade.






4 comments:

Larry said...

TBV -

Can we now say that Bonnie DeSimone is the premier cycling journalist in the U.S.? I mean, can the lady write, or what?

Sometimes, I feel like Bonnie is speaking for me. Like when she writes:

"Cycling has broken a trust with the people who used to give it unconditional love. The sport got away with its infidelity for a long, long time, but the patience of the long-suffering partner -- that would be us -- has run dry. The estrangement could be lengthy, and divorce is a real possibility."

Tony Raven said...

The funniest thing about the Fat Cyclist piece is it was written back in April. And how prescient it has turned out to be!

jrdbutcher said...

I'm not sure if I should ignore 39x23 or wish a hearty FU right back at him/her for all of the negative sentiment, much of which is unconfirmed?

jrdbutcher said...

Bonnie DeSimone's writing is often excellent. Thanks for another example.

Fat Cyclist may have outdone himself? An exceptional piece of satire that frequently flurts with the borders of reality.