Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

The San Diego Union Tribune writes of the agonizingly interminable wait for the Landis arbitration decision. As of this writing it appears that the panel has not closed the hearing, so the length of the wait could be anybody's guess:

When the hearing concluded, lead arbitrator Patrice Brunet said the proceedings would technically remain open until both sides had filed “findings of facts.” He allowed three weeks for the court reporter to provide transcripts, then another two for attorneys to prepare their findings. Once the hearing is officially closed, the arbitration rules stipulate, the panel has 10 business days to issue a ruling – which, in this case, put it in mid-July.

It's nearly August. So what happened?
A Landis spokesperson says findings of facts were filed by both sides on June 28. But the panel, at least late last week, still had not formally closed the hearing, meaning no 10-day clock is ticking.

In the meantime witness tampering charges will not be filed against former Landis manager Will Geoghegan, but at the same time Greg LeMond's lawyer says that legal proceedings against Landis are not out of the question:

Chris Madel, LeMond's Minneapolis-based attorney, says, “We are considering all legal options against Mr. Landis and his agents.”

I think Mr. Landis is out of control,” Madel said in a phone interview. “His recent interviews are being increasingly erratic about what he says about Mr. LeMond and others. . . . This guy holds himself up as this Christian, but at the same time he has no trouble hurling stones at others when he has no basis to do that.

“We want to make him pay.”

Bloomberg reports Sinkewitz has chosen to skip the B test, and he's been fired from T-Mobile, according to the team. They also say he owes them his pay because of "the pledge". No comments from him directly.

AP has Sinkewitz confessing to using T-gel, probably source of Cycling Fans Anonymous story below.

Sport1.de makes a claim that Cadel Evans has done something with Ferarri.

The Denver Post offers an opinion piece on the "scandal" formerly known as riding a bike, and notes that Floyd Landis was doing just that in Colorado Sunday rather than participating in the Tour de France.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Ford says it may not be pretty to watch the process, but at least cycling is trying to clean up its act unlike some US sports.

The CyclingNews has reports on the comeback of Alessandro Petacchi, the acceptance of Vino by his countrymen, and Alberto Contador who says that Oscar Pereiro will make a great Tour de France champion, once they disqualify Floyd Landis to give him the 2006 title that is.

The Jamestown Sun
quotes Frankie Andreu as saying that since he thought this year's edition of the Tour de France would be better than last year's, and it was not, he has no confidence in how next year's event will be.

ESPN Page 2
asks us to imagine what it would be like if the model set up by professional cycling to catch drug cheats was applied to say MLB, or the NFL. Imagine it indeed:

Had the NFL had the same rigorous testing as cycling, the Carolina Panthers might have showed up for Super Bowl XXXVIII a little shorthanded. As it turned out, several Panthers reportedly used performance-enhancing drugs during the 2003 season, and two of them allegedly had prescriptions for steroids filled right before they appeared in the Super Bowl. And while we can make all the jokes we want about Floyd Landis, last year's Tour champion, the most glorified record in American sports is on the verge of being shattered by a man with numerous ties to performance-enhancing drugs. Tour officials already don't recognize Landis as the champion and are pushing the United States Anti-Doping Agency to strip Landis of the title. Bud Selig wishes he had such an option with Barry Bonds.

SeattlePI.Com writes of disillusioned young cyclists, and too many heroes with feet of clay.

Cycling Fans Anonymous has more details of Sinkewitz, not seen by us before, nor attributed, but they sound plausible:
Now ex-T-Mobiler Patrik Sinkewitz has declined to have his B sample tested and has admitted to using testosterone gel during the June T-Mobile training camp where he was tested. He said that on the day before his test he had used Testogel made by the firm Jenapharm which is meant to help people suffering from testosterone deficiency. During the intense training of the camp, he used the T to speed up his recovery. He was fired from T-Mobile today and his actions (along with everything else) may spell the end of T-Mobile's sponsorship of the team.

Testosterone gel was USADAs main theory for what Landis did, so it would be interesting to get Sinkewitz's results to compare. Fat chance.

Rant shares a few of his thoughts from yesterday evening.

Witty and Vibrant
thinks that Floyd Landis is just another in a long line of two wheeled junkies.

Steve Lavey is disgusted with professional cycling, and now it's official.

Steroid Nation writes that one year after the most embarrassing event in Tour de France history, the positive PED test of winner Floyd Landis, there is now a laundry list from this year's event that makes it pale by comparison.

She Didn't Have Time
is very happy with the Discovery team's results this year in the TdF, but she is unable to understand why, with last year's Landis saga still dragging on, competitors thought they could get away with doping.

notes ESPN's hypocrisy in the way it covers the Barry Bonds home run story juxtaposed to the way it covers, or doesn't cover, the Tour de France .

CFA is not taking any bets when it comes to the Leadville 100 and the Lance vs Floyd drama. Who knows who will show up and in what kind of condition they will be in?

Christopher Sacco thinks that you can't tell if someone is using steroids by j just looking at them, take Floyd Landis for instance.

Gravitation to the Corner Bar
wonders whatever happened to Floyd Landis anyway.

Suitcase of Courage converts cycling wattage output to horsepower so that people can understand better what it takes to ride in the pro peloton:
Allen Lim coached Floyd Landis on his miraculous comeback attack. As Dr. Lim explained to me just days after the Tour, they knew exactly how many watts Floyd could generate over a set period of time, and they figure out that this number was higher when his body temperature was lower. As that day's stage in the Tour was extremely hot, the team decided Floyd would go on a daring attack throughout most of the stage to try and win back the Tour. The trick to all this was that by riding by himself off the front of the peloton Landis was able to keep his team car close by so he could dump close to 80 bottles of cold water on his head throughout the day. This kept his body temperature lower than his pursuers and he simply had to watch his power meter and keep producing the designated wattage levels which had been calculated the night before. At this point Landis and Lim knew with some certainty that he could win the stage, and grab back important time, which he did.
So watts are great and all, but normal people understand one power figure, and that's horsepower. So how much horsepower does it take to win a tour stage in the mountains, and how much does it take to win a sprint on the Champs Elysees?

With interesting charts of details (for folks who like that sort of thing), the answers are obvious, in retrospect:

The conclusions here of course are that gas holds a hell of a lot more energy than pasta, a ProTour rider is way stronger than you are, and the peloton's combined might couldn't beat [Formula One driver Lewis] Hamilton even if he was going in reverse.

Do F1 cars still have a required reverse gear?

A Parodist at You Tube has a slightly different version of Bjarne Riis's tell-all press conference. Funny.

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Stirring the, um, pot

I suppose it's a question of trying to back up their original article.

Le Monde this morning picks up (rather gingerly) a story which appeared yesterday on the Belgian news site "7 sur 7" , reporting that a German doping expert, Werner Franke, called Alberto Contador's Tour victory, "The biggest fraud in the history of sport." Claiming to have documents from the police search of Dr. Fuentes' offices, Franke asserted they showed Contador taking a "whole doping protocol" of banned substances.

Both "7 sur 7" and Le Monde hastened to point out that Franke has a history of making extravagant declarations, and that in September 2006 a German court enjoined him from making similar statements against Jan Ullrich.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Mayo reported positive for EPO

Here's this late-evening Eurosport version of the Mayo story:

Spaniard Iban Mayo tested positive on the second rest day of the Tour, July 24. Saunier Duval has suspended its rider while waiting for the second analysis. This is the third case of doping in the Grande Boucle, after Alexander Vinokourov and Cristian Moreni.

The 2007 Tour de France and positive tests: it's a little like the famous brand of dishwashing liquid: "When there are more [dishes, I suppose], it's got more." The day after the arrival on the Champs and the coronation of Alberto Contador, a third doping case has just been revealed. This time it's Spaniard Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval) positive for EPO on the second rest day of the Tour, July 24 at Pau. This was the day before the expulsion of Michael Rasmussen, then Yellow Jersey. The ICU advised the Spanish team of the rider's test. (Mayo was 16th in the Tour, 27 minutes behind Contador in Paris.)

Saunier Duval wasted no time in immediately suspending its rider, explaining that it could not do otherwise "given the line it's taking to combat doping." The team also stated thaat it would cancel Mayos contract if the B-sample analysis confirmed the A-sample result. DS Josean Fernándex Matxin characterized the news as "an unpleasant surprise. He has never been a rider suspected of anything. Quite the contrary. He had passed all our internal tests."

Last May, Iban Mayo had tested positive for testosterone during the Tour of Italy, in which he won a stage. But the Basque rider, subject to natural variations in this hormone, was cleared finally, after a more profound analysis. This time, no doubt: since it's EPO, a substance that is anything but natural. This is the third rider "caught" by the Grande Boucle, after Cristian Moreni (Cofidis) and Alexandre Vinokourov--and perhaps not the last. There must surely be a few more drops at the bottom of the bottle. . . .

Agence France Presse helpfully adds:

This positive result for EPO--the first in several years for the Tour--also proves that the test used by the National Doping Detection Laboratory (LNDD) at Châtenay-Malabry, which has regularly criticized for its limited detection window, does work. This radar, while imperfect, still claims its victims.

Before this latest revelation, the forced departure of Danish Michael Rasmussen, the Yellow Jersey who practically had the race won, and the exclusion of his team, Rabpbank, had already thrown the 2007 Tour into a media whirlwind worthy of the Festina storm during the 1998 Tour.

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Monday Roundup

A smiling Floyd Landis at yesterday's
Colorado-Eagle River Ride.
He seems trimmer. Look out Lance.

Reuters via Yahoo reports Iban Mayo tested positive for EPO on the Jul 24th rest day, and has been suspended by Saunier Duval. En Espanol, from El Pais; and bicycle.net. Also see Marc's translations of some European stories.

The Vail Daily posts a story about Floyd Landis' participation in yesterday's Colorado-Eagle River Ride and the excitement it created among the peloton:

“You could tell where he was riding because there was this big pack of guys — everyone was around him,” said Scott Van Deren, of Sedalia. “I got on the Floyd peloton early

In a sidebar, a rider tells of getting a little extra help:
“It’s kind of like having a Tour de France winner as your domestique for a while.” — Mike Kloser on Floyd Landis dropping back when Kloser flatted and bringing him back to the lead pack.

The NY Times writes that with the developing split between the ASO and the UCI, next year invitations to the Tour de France will be issued using new and different criteria.

The LA Times says colorfully that the Tour de France is beleaguered to the point of being wretched, and that there was nary a mention of Floyd Landis.

Sportiafrica.com tells it like it is, if you are looking for a "clean" sport you're in for one hell of a search, there is no such thing.

The Home News Tribune thinks that yesterday's TdF route past the LNDD was certainly no coincidence.

The Age (Aus) in an article about Evans, repeats the crap that Landis' "spike" led to suspicions. Pretty much everything said about Evans' progression applies to Landis as well.

Pez has a last Tour report by Chris Carmichael, and it gives reason to think Landis won't be in top tour form should he come back -- the year off will have taken a toll.

CycloBlog notes Astana has fired Vino following a B positive. This is the first confirmation of a B positive we've heard.

SciencePark gives a rundown of flow cytometry, the test at issue with Vino.

Mediocracy gives a well deserved "Water is Wet" award:
The New Scientist boggles over what distinguishes top athletes from lesser mortals. What explanation first comes to their minds? Well, drugs, of course.

Linda went on the Colorado ride, hung on the Floyd train for about 5 seconds, and needed magic pills to complete the century -- more proof that Landis did something.

Nick's Verdict shares recent pictures from what appears to be a lot of fun, one of them is of Floyd Landis at a recent booksigning.

En Worb notes last year's Tour de France defining moment, and runs down this year's events.

Richardsona shares a picture he took last year in Paris.

Heartspeak says that Floyd Landis killed the year 2006 with his positive drug tests.

Bunchs Big Blog wonders who would have thought that last year's Tour de France would be considered the "good old days"?

Media Guru thought the worst was over, boy was he wrong.

Pete's Blog calls it "Le Joke de France", go Aussie.

Andy Bunker says Landis has been riding the White Horse in the current sports apocalypse. We're not sure what to make of that metaphor. Riding one of those horses is bad, but it's a white horse which is good. Is this like deciding if a chewing gum wrapper goes into the metal or paper recycle bin because one side is foil and the other paper?

Funny Class notes tells a cautionary tale about a wrestler accused of steroid use.

PlayKilling thinks everyone is tired of Landis, and that he's guilty.

TdF Lantern Rouge asks some interesting questions about why Moreni would dope.

Pedal Pushers
reviews a bunch of cycling books, including a positive one about Positively False.

Kenneth Norton has some more pix of Landis at Google on Flikr.

Groklaw, which remains one of our major inspirations, tells of a significant legal victory about getting away from arbitration, in part because of California law. It's worth the click, but here's a relevant quote.
The Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 16, doesn't authorize interlocutory appeals of a district court order compelling arbitration. Once arbitration has got you, it's really got you, as you will see when you read the ruling. In the courts words, to overturn an arbitration award, "a party needs to show 'affirmative misconduct' or 'irrational[ity]' in the arbitration to vacate" it. That's why companies like arbitration instead of the regular court system, I suppose. And here is the guy wanting to do a class action, and now he's been told he has to go through arbitration, but the same court that is upholding that requirement is at the same time upholding the other new terms added, presumably, including the waiver of any class actions. Worse, as the court explains, if he won the arbitration regarding damages claims, on what basis would he then have standing to appeal? It would then be theoretically possible that the decision that forced arbitration on him would also insulate the decision from any review.

Interlocutory appeals are rare, even when they are allowed. I hope you remember this next time you agree to any contract demanding arbitration to settle all disputes. So, with usual options closed to him, and arbitration by necessity closing off any class action, what to do? Douglas petitioned for a writ of mandamus. You surely don't see those every day, and they succeed even less often. It's what the law calls an extraordinary remedy, meaning you can't just ask for it like ordering a hamburger at McDonald's. There are very strict rules on elements that must exist for a court to even think about granting such a motion, including that the lower court has to have made an error of law, which doesn't happen that often, and it's entirely discretional on the part of the court.

notes that not only has Mayo tested positive for EPO, but may also have tested positive for testosterone:

It is not the first time Mayo has been implicated in a doping story as last month he was suspected of having failed a test in the Giro d’Italia. However, he was cleared by the UCI.

Mayo was reported to have tested positive for testosterone, the banned male sex hormone which snared Floyd Landis on his way to victory in last year’s Tour de France. But the UCI said in a statement that Mayo, who was tested following his victory on the 19th stage to Terme di Comano, had not breached doping rules.

Chancelucky snarks that cheaters, like Floyd Landis, cheat partly for the attention hey get, and that no one remembers that it was actually Oscar Pereiro who won the 2006 Tour de France.

Josh Tinley
aks if cycling has hurt itself with its' openness about drug testing, and should we be really proud that it's nearly impossible to cheat now?

Outside Blog's John Bradley says this year's Tour de France was the hardest to watch in the 20 years that he has followed the race. And even though he fears that some of the men who run the teams now were also those who may have been a big part of the doping culture in cycling in the 90s he still feels that with the younger generation of cyclists coming up there is hope. He thanks the WADA chemists and says the sport counts on them, let's all hope that his hope is not misplaced.

Spinnin' Wheel
fears that with the present climate in cycling even if Floyd Landis is completely exonerated he will never be welcomed back into the pro peloton.

Quote of the Day

But hey, at least he’s [Vino] keeping his sense of humour. In reference to German news reports that said he used his father’s blood for the tranfusion, he said:

“I heard that I made a transfusion with my father’s blood. That’s absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka.”


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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Late Roundup

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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Sunday Early Roundup

The LA Times' Michael Hiltzik, who has written extensively throughout the Landis case about the science and procedures of WADA testing labs, writes that Alexandre Vinokourov is also contesting his recent blood doping positives on the basis of faulty lab work and that Vinokourov has retained Landis lawyers Howard Jacobs and Maurice Suh:

Allegations that LNDD mishandled his urine samples and botched his tests are at the heart of Landis' defense case, which is awaiting a ruling by a three-member arbitration panel. Suh suggested that similar shortcomings may be found in LNDD's work on Vinokourov's blood samples.

The New York Daily News' Filip Bondy says that since we have lost faith and interest in Floyd Landis and his doping scandal that, among other things, have killed the Tour de France:

By now, this sport at its most elite levels is something of a caricature, a bad joke. It is also a case study in how an entire sport can be destroyed by a combination of bad management and good intentions. Basically, the Tour de France is an inhumanly difficult course that inherently encourages cheating. Some might even argue that its macho climbs demand doping, for sheer survival.

The Montreal Gazette
says the Tour de France would make a great reality show, I thought that's what it was.

CDA Press.com talks about the real "boys of summer" the cyclists who ride the Tour de France and dope. Well, let 'em all dope, or have a pub crawl during the race whatever.

Scribbling writes about HIS history with watching and caring about the Tour
de France.

Rant writes that just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you, truer words and all that.

The 6:17 Talks doens't see the Tour de France as a reality show, but rather as a comedy.

Reno Wire says that FINALLY there is a bright spot to the darkness that has been the Tour de France, and it's Levi Leipheimer.

Shut up and Drink the Kool-Aid wants the Tour de France to just end. Last year's winner, Floyd Landis, is still waiting to see if he won, it's been enough already.

Ralph Speaks Sports
wonders if the dopers think the fans are the real "dopes".

The Four Horsemen of the Sports Apocalypse
feels that ALL sports, not just cycling, are in deep trouble.

The Dissociated Press
writes of the Tour, and notes:

Even before its start, the 103 year-old Tour was under unusually close scrutiny, due mainly to the controversy of last year --- when it was discovered from carefully-administered post-race urine and blood tests that the winner, American Floyd Landis, had actually been riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for most of the three-week competition (Landis is currently fighting the charges in court; his attorneys claim the motorcycle was a Suzuki).

We will grant that would be a technicality.

Thought for the Day

The passage of time is simply an illusion created by our brains.

-Julian Barbour-

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This is post 739 since TBV started on this day in 2006. We never would have imagined it running so long or being so voluminous. Part of this is due to the length and complexity of the case, and there's nothing to feel good about with that, no matter what side of the question you may find yourself.

On the other hand, the experience has introduced us to a host of wonderful people. Some have joined us on "staff", others have made occasional contributions, and a great many have conducted a long running conversation in our comment sections. We've gone to a lot of meetings and events, found very nice people in places we would never have imagined, and generally been pleasantly surprised by the good will that remains. It would be unfair to list some but not all names, but I'd like to particularly thank Sandra, my kids, Paula and Mark, Marc, Bill, and Dan, who have made many sacrifices and contributions.

When we started, we knew something of the antidoping enforcement process, having followed and read the Hamilton case and the Vrijman report, which we knew to have come with their own baggage and set of biases. What little we knew of Landis made the charge seem odd, but not impossible, as it's a known problem in the sport.

A year later, we still don't know if Landis doped or not, but we're certainly not convinced that he did by our interpretation of the evidence presented at the hearing. We don't know what result will be made by the arbiters, or how convincing their logic of decision will be when it is made.

Little we've seen of the anti-doping process has given us good feelings about the integrity and ethics of those in charge of executing the laudable goal of policing the cheating in sport through prohibited substances and methods. The unease is triggered by the attitude, which is clearly, "they all dope" which leads to, "whatever we charge them with is good enough."

When the goal is laudable, it strikes us as more than a little inconsistent that dubious methods are willingly applied in the name of "Fair Play." At least in our mind, the ends do not justify the means, either for the athletic participants, or the rule-making and enforcing bodies.

We see from all involved parties an inflexibility to reach mutually beneficial agreements that all are willing to live with. We see self-interest run amok, and politics being played ostensibly for ideals, but really for power and financial control.

It's a sad state of affairs, and one we, as fans, wish would get resolved in a way that felt fair and effective to all parties. That won't happen until those parties realize scorching the earth and blaming each other will leave nothing for anyone.

None of this would have come about at TBV, for better or worse, without Floyd Landis' audacious attack on Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France. That stage has become a personal litmus for all that some love and some hate about the sport of cycling. It was either a transcendent moment of athletic glory, or a dismal symbol of much that's wrong with competition.

Since competition, and cheating to win are as old as games themselves, it is ludicrous to say we have new problems. What we have is a side effect of the pressure of competing at all. And competimg is just another way of saying, "living."

All we can really hope to do are manage and control the worst excesses, in hopes the what is left is "fair enough." Those that do win should, by and large, be deserving.


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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday Late Roundup

For more news from earlier today check out the Saturday Early Roundup.

BBC has more on Suh and Jacobs defending Vino. It's the "flow cytometry test" at issue this time, and Vino is also trying out the "it wouldn't make sense" and "I've been tested more than 100 times" lines. Here's a clue: those don't go over. If it really is a botched test, the best thing to do is release the information ASAP.

The Boston Globe writes that a year after the Floyd Landis affair professional cycling is still ridden with scandal and sponsor pullouts. Dr Gary Wadler of WADA says cycling stands at the abyss, and Dick Pound is heard from as well:

If Tour officials "don't realize what they've been doing is well short of what is required, then the sport really is in trouble," said Richard W. Pound, the president of the Montreal-based anti-doping agency.

The Daily Mail reports that even before the yellow jersey has been awarded Dick Pound is already considering investigations into possible doping by potential Tour de France winner Alberto Contador:

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Dick Pound, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, is to pursue further investigations into evidence that appears to link Contador to doping and which could yet see the yellow jersey stained beyond redemption.
When last year's victor,Floyd Landis,rode into Paris in glory only to be disgraced days later by a positive testosterone test — a result the American is still contesting — it appeared the Tour had reached its nadir. But this year there has been no relief from the scandal of doping.

The NYT Juliet Macur
writes of the "teflon peloton" in which cheating is seen by many cyclists as something whose detection is avoidable, and whose methods have evolved. One of her sources is Joe Papp, who testified on behalf on USADA at the Floyd Landis hearings in May. Papp claims to have gotten hate mail and threats since his testimony at the hearings, and has much to say about the doping culture in cycling:

The cycling culture is such that athletes are brainwashed into believing that doping is acceptable, and even necessary, Papp said. He likened it to “being in the mob” because the cyclists have the backing of their teams to use performance-enhancing drugs, the promise of secrecy from their teammates and the audacity to look the drug testers in the eyes, knowing full well that their doping will go undetected.

Lancaster Online.com pursues a story about "cheatin' hearts" and Farmersville native Floyd Landis' name inevitably comes up.

ABC News posts a story which simply put, says that for many pro cyclists it's dope or go home.

Bicycling Magazine
writes that Vinokourov denies doping unequivocally and that, as in Floyd Landis' case, the LNDD is at fault. He has retained Maurice Suh and Howard Jacobs, Floyd Landis' lawyers, as his legal counsel.


EveryManTri, sponsored by BMC, doesn't buy Landis' program for fixing pro cycling.

His solutions: 1) form a cyclist union to help better control the invasive and pesky random drug testing and 2) have the cycling union pull out of the Olympics so that riders would not have to conform to the Olympic drug testing rules.

I almost fell from my chair when he said this. Talk about some big testosterone balls. That would be like getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar and telling your mom that not only should she do away with the jar, but that you won’t do your homework until she gives you all of the cookies

Kashmir Bitches provides us with a bit of a laugh in the form of a cartoon.

Steroid Nation has the Tour de France nearing it's cycle end, or is that end cycle?

Rose Cantine writes about Vino and the fact that he , like Floyd Landis, is denying that he doped. She wants to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Joeschmo notes that Vino has retained the Landis dream team of lawyers, and that his team still believes in him.

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But Le Monde after Contador

Just as things were quieting down with Juan Mauricio Soler, Le Monde decided this afternoon to stir the pot (not to use a different word) about Alberto Contador. In a story by Stéphane Mandard titled, "Alberto Contador, Yellow Jersey and miracle boy of 'Operation Puerto'," the paper reports:

The Tour organizers had advised that riders "cited" in the Puerto dossier ought not be able to start the Tour. It was this principle which led to excluding German Jan Ullrich and Italian Ivan Basso in 2006. "In no case could Contador's name be linked to Mr. Fuentes' clientele," said the head of the Tour, Patrice Clerc, Thursday July 26, in justifying the Spaniard's having taking over the Yellow Jersey.

Besides hundreds of pouches of blood, the Civil Guard seized, in the Spring of 2006, numerous documents in which the doctor had recorded treatments and other indications for his numerous "clients." According to our sources, the name of Alberto Contador appears in several places in these documents. And, contrary to what Patrice Clerc has claimed, Contador is not merely incidentally "cited in the context of telephone conversations about the results of races." . . .

According to the Civil Guard, these documents correspond to planning the 2005 season for the Liberty-Seguros team. It was in January 2005 that Alberto Contador returned to competition after his brain operation in the spring of 2004. . . . As distinct from Roberto Heras or Joseba Beloki, the investigative report did not reveal annotations mentioning doping products in relation to Alberto Contador's name. Gianpaolo Caruso's case, however, is similar to Contador's. But, if the Spanish federation did not decide to pursue its rider, the antidoping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) asked for a two-year suspension against Gianpaolo Caruso. "It is completely abnormal that Contador can continue to race without being troubled by Operation Puerto while CONI asked for a two-year suspension for Caruso. There was nothing more in the file against Caruso than against Contador," declared Jörg Jaksche, the Spaniard's former teammate on Liberty-Seguros, to Le Monde.

The German rider created a sensation before the start of the Tour by admitting publicly that he had doped with Dr. Fuentes' help of while he raced for the Spanish team. [He] explained that he had spent twenty hours recounting his life as a doping cyclist to his country's federal police, Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 and 26.

Alberto Contador, for his part, was questioned for scarcely ten minutes in December 2006 by the magistrate in charge of the Puerto file. The rider declared to Judge Antonio Serrano that he did not know Eufemanio Fuentes. He also refused to undergo the taking of a DNA sample which would have made it possible to verify whether certain pouches of blood found in the apartments used by Dr. Fuentes for administering autotransfusions were destined for him.

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Saturday Early Roundup

The Vail Daily News reports that Floyd Landis is in Vail, CO and will ride in tomorrow's Eagle River-Colorado Ride. Floyd has been in Aspen this week training for the Leadville 100 and was invited to participate in tomorrow's event, a 100 mile ride with all levels of riders taking part:

Landis said he’s excited about getting a chance to ride with some top local cyclists on Sunday.
“It’s good to be with other guys who force you to ride harder than you would otherwise ride,” he said. “Especially when you are just getting into shape. Once you’re in shape, you can stay motivated. But lately, I haven’t ridden enough, so it’s better if I have people around to motivate me.

About the current situation in the Tour de France Landis said:
“There are a lot of rumors and accusations,” Landis said. “It’s not going to end the sport. The Tour (de France) is the biggest race and it’s most likely going to stay that way. It’s unfortunate for the guys who are legitimate. At this point, it’s hard for anyone to sort out who that is. There seems to be a culture where as soon as somebody is accused they are immediately convicted by the press. It’s confusing right now.”

Oregon Live.com
talks about the ugly side of sports.

The Guardian thinks bad drugs great sport, what happened to the good old days, and will leave any comment about Floyd Landis to the courts.

The Sunday Times posts a self congratulatory piece on two anti doping crusaders on its' staff which consists largely of links to old stories one of which is about Floyd Landis. David Walsh and Paul Kimmage will clean up a "diseased Tour".

cites a Reuters piece in which Patrice Clerc of the ASO states that all UCI officials should resign including Pat McQuaid.

BikeBiz expands, with the headline, "ASO declares war on UCI."

Suethsayings thinks that The New England Journal of Medicine "photoshopped" its' recent data that fat friends make you fat, and also thinks that sports commentators "photoshopped" the Floyd Landis ride on Stage 17 last year in the TdF as one of the greatest in Tour history.

Alexandra at MySpace wants to ride her bike, and fell in love with Floyd Landis last summer during the Tour de France. After the doping allegations came to light she tore down all the pictures of Floyd from her wall, but she now just says let them cheat, either that or test them obsessively and keep cameras on them every minute.

Triple Crankset says that since we can't really know, we can't really believe. Sad.

Rant wonders what we have learned in the wake of the last year of the Landis Saga, it would seem the majority of the media have learned very little.

Peloton Fodder
says "to hell with them all!"

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DS says not Soler

La Gazzetta dello Sport, repeating a report from Italian news agency AGR:

Following revelations by the French newspaper La Provence of a third positive result among riders tested after the 14th stage of the Tour de France, the DS of Barloworld, Alberto Volpi, denied that the athlete in question was Colombian Juan Mauricio Soler, as had been reported by several news agencies. "First of all, Soler was never picked for testing on any day since his victory in Briancon, and further, we have not received any notification. It is absolutely evident, therefore, that the case in question cannot be Soler, " Volpi said to AGR. "We are absolutely easy about this. It's just someone trying to take advantage. "

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Friday, July 27, 2007

One Year Ago

One year ago today, Phonak confirmed a positive test result for Floyd Landis, and the wheels were set in motion.

It is difficult to say anything that has happened since has been good for anyone or the beautiful sport of cycling.

Cynics in all positions have taken us where we are. There are few with credibility that can lead forward.

Our immediate thoughts are to watch the end of this Tour, and go for a ride to remember how lovely it can be.

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Vinokourov B-samples

L'Equipe also reported earlier today that the B-sample testing for Alexander Vinokourov began this morning (Friday) at LNDD in Châtenay-Malabry. The story is by-lined "Special to l'Equipe," which has sometimes been how they by-line their leaked stories. This brief story also states that two samples are being tested, one from July 21 (time trial at Albi), the other from July 23, Vinokourov's second stage victory. As far as I know, there has been no official statement that there was a second positive A-sample for Vinokourov. (But I miss these things sometimes, so correct me if I'm wrong.) The story also states that Vinokourov was not present at the B-sample test (though it is silent as to whether a representative was present). Testing of the B-sample is supposed to conclude Saturday.

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Sweet dreams from Paris

Just as we're settling in for the evening, Agence France Press reports (this version is from L'Equipe) that Christian Prudhomme has helpfully poured gasoline on an old fire.

Prudhomme breaks with the ICU

The fire's still smoldering between the Tour de France and the International Cycling Union. The point of no return may have been reached Friday by Christian Prudhomme, who declared to the German newspaper, the
Süddeutsche Zeitung, in a story appearing Saturday, that he did not want to work with the international federation any longer. "There is an international cycling organization, but with all due respect, it's worthless," fired off the director of the Tour de France. "How can one continue to believe in the ICU? It didn't, for example, apply its own rule 220, which says that a rider who has missed a doping test before one of the big Tours is excluded from it. The ICU never wanted this Tour to be clean. But next year, there will be a potentially clean Tour."

To do this, Christian Prudhomme stated that he wanted to change partners for coming Tours. "Next year we are going to work hand-in-hand with the World Antidoping Agency and the French Agency for the Fight Against Doping." Moreover, and contrary to Pat McQuaid, president of the ICU, the Tour de France director said he was in favor of the doping summit proposed by the president of WADA, Dick Pound. "Mr. Pound, it can be whenever and wherever you want. But it will be better without the ICU."

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Friday Late Roundup

Previous news in the Early Friday Roundup.

The New Republic says fans want cyclists to dope.

HLN.be says Soler, currently in polka-dots, has tested positive and will be tossed. Unconfirmed.

AP via SI confirms Suh is working for Vino, no answer from Jacobs office.

Youtube/Fora.tv has Landis at Corte Madera signing talks about discouraging cheating. This is now a few weeks old.

Renaissance Ruminations blasts "end the tour" crazy talk by hypocritical media.

Rise Up O Men of God runs New Republic piece.

PJ was waiting for Lemond to pile on, and was not disappointed.

Aktif Blog swipes the words right from PJ's mouth.

Webs hears of Suh and Jacobs looking at Vino's case, and snarks:

In related news, Major League Baseball has hired Rick Ankiel to teach control to young pitchers and Darryl Strawberry to head up the "Stay away from hookers who are actually guys" department.

Freakonomics raises the question about legalizing doping (an economic libertarian argument), and carries an answer by Boulder Report's Joe Lindsey, who notes:
Simply put, wherever you draw the line, something, some technique or substance, will always be off-limits. And so you’ve merely moved the line, not erased it.

Which is actually an argument Landis has used. If there's rules, breaking them is cheating.

Jo Swift goes all Marxist, quoting from Socialist Review, and says blaming the riders is part of their historical long term exploitation.

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Some numbers from the 2006 tour

There was some discussion in yesterday's roundup whether or not Landis' Stage 17 was out-of-line with his other stages, and thereby itself suggesting something untoward. A columnist said it was so, we said it wasn't and gave some numbers.
A comment here said we were calling "black" "white", and we have some more numbers now.


Yesterday, we challenged a Sydney Morning Herald columnist who wrote

It's funny how we viewers can now pick the drug cheats - just look at the ones that suddenly produce an unbelievable stage effort totally out of sync with their previous form: hello Floyd Landis.

We said then,

Funny, we seem to recall Landis in Yellow not two days before, having dragged the first group up the Alpe d'Huez. I don't remember Evans being at the head of any final climb in a mountain stage this year. And like Landis, Evans was second in the first time trial. Out of sync with previous form? More misinformation. Over at the CycleOps site, Allen Lim put up a table of Landis' climb data in 2006, which shows what he did on S17 consistent with earlier climbs, particularly Alpe d'Huez.

Make no mistake, S17 was a big day, but not the biggest KJ of the tour -- Stages 11 and 16 were more work. What is tactically notable is how the big climb was the first one. I also find S15 and S17 have normalized w/kgs of 5.47 and 5.69, which are solid, but not out-of-this-world.

Out of sync? The data says the columnist is making it up.

A comment said,

The stage 17 thing seems to be one of those TBV arguments that White is Black.

Amusingly the normalized W/kg was apparently computed but not given.
Maybe because it does make appear that stage 17 was out of the ordinary after all. Here is the actual data:
* S10: 5.15
* S11: 5.12
* S14: 4.90
* S15: 5.44
* S16: 4.75
* S17: 5.69
The two best stages are S15 and S17, by are margin. So it is a little more than the peloton was slow in S17, and Landis performed as usual. The averages obvious the dramatic let down in S16, maybe because S15 took a toll, or other reason.
But then, the next day, Landis was born again, since he had its best performance of the data set. Not only that but if you look at the full table, S17 is the only stage where he consistently performed above 5.5 (S15 comes close though).
And he did it with a 125km solo breakaway (not in the comfort of the peloton or small group), catching back the racers of the previous initial break, who then dropped like flies as time went.

So yes, his performance in stage 17 was extraordinary. The media emphazied it rightly so, if you are not convinced, you are deep in denial, please google the press articles of the time.

Well, I didn't want to bore people with spreadsheet data in the roundup, but the point the commenter missed was the total energy output of the stage vs. the effort placed into climbs. I've collected and collated the relevant data three ways, to show what points one can reasonably argue, as follows.

Here's the raw data:

sorted by

stage kj w/kg kj/w/kj
10 1848 5.15 358.79
11 3531 5.04 701.06
14 1840 5.32 345.94
15 2351 5.47 429.46
16 4638 4.75 976.54
17 2989 5.69 525.22

The expended kilo-joules on a route is about the same for all riders of the same weight. When sorted by total energy output, we see S17 was the third hardest day of the tour. Stages 11 and 16 were harder, and S16 was by far the most work. It's clear from all this data that S16 was the "killer" stage of the 2006 tour, which probably wasted the riders who rode it all out to the end. This had its effects the next day on S17.

Sorted by

stage kj w/kg kj/w/kg
15 2351 5.47 429.46
14 1840 5.32 345.94
10 1848 5.15 358.79
17 2989 5.69 525.22
11 3531 5.04 701.06
16 4638 4.75 976.54

Now, sorted by weighted average w/kg total, we have the numbers mentioned yesterday. These are the worst-case looking numbers for Landis, which is why I used them. They are the rate of energy output per stage by weight; this is where S17 appears to be the "out of line" value.

Sorted by

stage kj w/kg kj/w/kg
16 4638 4.75 976.54
11 3531 5.04 701.06
10 1848 5.15 358.79
14 1840 5.32 345.94
15 2351 5.47 429.46
17 2989 5.69 525.22

Note that 5.49 to 5.69 is a 3.96% difference. Whether that difference is an indication of doping is pretty debatable.

What is more interesting is when you factor out the intensity of the total stage, and look at the last column, total work / rate of work, which is kj / (w/kg):

Sorted by

stage kj wkj kj/w/kg % diff
14 1840 5.32 345.94
10 1848 5.15 358.79 3.72%
15 2351 5.47 429.46 19.70%
17 2989 5.69 525.22 22.30%
11 3531 5.04 701.06 33.48%
16 4638 4.75 976.54 39.29%

Considering the stage difficulty, Stage 17's rate of output was mid-pack. Stage 16 was by far the hardest, followed by Stage 11 -- consistent with the amount of work required for each stage. This also show how brutal S16 was.

The other argument not addressed is that 5.69 is not an earth-shattering number -- the border line of "extraterrestrial-land" seems to be over 6.0 and higher.

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Friday Early Roundup

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

[photo via velonews; tip from a reader who said
"a picture tells 1000 words"]

ESPN/DeSimone says Suh and Jacobs are working with Vino/Astana.

The CyclingNews has Greg LeMond speaking for Floyd Landis again in reference to the latest doping scandals at this year's Tour de France. LeMond claims that Landis said the French were against him and that Floyd is either naive or malicious:

LeMond's point of view is that if Rasmussen got kicked out, others should have been excluded, too. "There are others where there is even more proof [of doping]. If I think about Floyd Landis, who defended himself by saying that the samples were manipulated, that the French were against him and that there is no culture of doping in cycling... Maybe he is just naive, or maybe he is malicious."

LeMond then goes on to cast doubt on current Tour leader Alberto Conbtador saying that no yellow jersey should be awarded at this year's Tour. Meanwhile Christian Moreni is out of jail, and obviously out of a job.

Chicago Daily Southtowns has this listed under "this day in history":

In 2006, Floyd Landis’ stunning Tour de France victory just four days earlier was thrown into question when he tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race (Landis has denied cheating).

The Washington Post
in its' kids posts sports opinion column writes that fair play needs to make a comeback in sports, and that kids should keep three things in mind when participating in sports. The adult athelets should keep these three pieces of advice in mind as well.

The Contra Costa Times
would like to put a positive local spin on the Tour de France, but it can't. It compares Vino to Floyd Landis:

That's because we've seen this script played out before. I remember thinking after last year's tour that Floyd Landis is innocent until proven guilty, and the cycling enthusiast in me has always wanted to believe he didn't use extra testosterone to take over last year's race.

But the fact is that he was hurting. He was in bad shape when he took that mountain stage thanks in no small part to a degenerating hip condition that he later had to have surgically repaired. Did something happen? Who knows?
Vinokourov's ascent was no different

The Leaf Chronicle
seems glad that Americans aren't the only cheaters.

Racejunkie says it's a cruel cruel summer what with "tricky Dicks" Dick Pound, Christian Prudhomme, Pat McQuaid, and Patrice Clerc turning on each other in cycling's equivalent of the Donner Party:

... WADA calling an antidoping summit, UCI complaining that Pound has no respect for the obvious success of their antidoping crusade (like letting an unknown yet likely huge number of the Op Puerto riders ride the Tour, for example), and, most outrageously, Christian--who spent the entirety of last year burning Floyd Landis at the stake in interviews with every imaginable media outlet, taking his Tour away before his arbitration was up, and playing provocative video of mirrors shattering as Floyd's evil cheating visage loomed in the background like Stalin's, as his own country's lab chimps repeatedly proved themselves incapable of reliably analysis the contents of a glass of tap water--whining that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and he is shocked, shocked! and horrified that riders aren't being given the benefit of the doubt (unless they're French.)

Spinopsys cites "Crikey" and its' problem with how the TdF is covered by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwan.

Yulu on MySpace cries "save the tour", and still thinks Floyd Landis is innocent.

Suitcase of Courage
feels as a lawyer that due process is lacking in the recent doping cases at the Tour de France, and he recommends reading Dave Shield's book, "The Tour".

QuickReleaseTV gives us debate from France 24 on the "guilty until proven innocent" syndrome present at this year's Tour de France.

Rant is thankful that at least yesterday we got to catch our collective breath as no new doping scandal was exposed at the TdF. Tourus Horribilis indeed.

My Life as a Maryland Mom wants to know what it's all about? All the scandals in sports and other places seems to be rampant this summer.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Late Roundup

For more news on what happened earlier today see the Thursday Early Roundup.


ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone writes poignantly about how openness is the greatest weakness and the greatest strength of the Tour de France:

If doping scandals make you doubt that the physical feats you see in a bike race are real, look again. Look at the whole sport. It's convulsing in a very real, human, imperfect way. Things may get worse before they get better, though it's hard to imagine how much worse they could be than they were this week at the Tour de France.

ESPN Page 2
has Jim Caple telling us that at least the scenery in France is still beautiful, and then lists why this may be the only thing that is still the same in the TdF.

Yahoo Sports writes that Christian Prudhomme is blaming the UCI for allowing Michael Rasmussen to enter the TdF, and Pat McQuaid fires back.

The Washington Post thinks that the Tour faces an uphill battle, and that Christian Moreni learned nothing from the Floyd Landis case, except not to spend copious amounts of money on lawyers.

The Independent writes the future of the Tour is bleak. Interestingly Oscar Pereiro takes a surprising position on the things that have occurred THIS year:

Most riders are simply fed up and divided. "I've had it up to here with all this," said Oscar Pereiro, the runner-up in last year's Tour, who is still waiting to hear whether he will inherit the title of 2006 Tour winner after Floyd Landis's positive test for synthetic testosterone. "It seems like anybody the Tour points a finger at has to be kicked out of the race."

Sydney Morning Herald
, rooting for Evans, offers this snark:
It's funny how we viewers can now pick the drug cheats - just look at the ones that suddenly produce an unbelievable stage effort totally out of sync with their previous form: hello Floyd Landis.

Funny, we seem to recall Landis in Yellow not two days before, having dragged the first group up the Alpe d'Huez. I don't remember Evans being at the head of any final climb in a mountain stage this year. And like Landis, Evans was second in the first time trial. Out of sync with previous form? More misinformation. Over at the CycleOps site, Allen Lim put up a table of Landis' climb data in 2006, which shows what he did on S17 consistent with earlier climbs, particularly Alpe d'Huez.

Make no mistake, S17 was a big day, but not the biggest KJ of the tour -- Stages 11 and 16 were more work. What is tactically notable is how the big climb was the first one. I also find S15 and S17 have normalized w/kgs of 5.47 and 5.69, which are solid, but not out-of-this-world.

Out of sync? The data says the columnist is making it up.

In Spades thinks that with the 2006 TdF winner still in doubt, and the debacle that is the 2007 TdF there should be a complete reworking of the race with a "clean" group and an "enhanced" group competing.

The Brucie says you gotta love cycling.

Whalley's World
thinks that things are confusing with last year's TdF winner not really last year's winner, and this year's winner may be crowned before we know for sure who won last year, or something.

Brave New Films
has a YouTube video of Floyd Landis explaining team cycling strategies at the recent "Positively False" appearance at Book Passages in Corte Madera,CA.

Common Man Syndrome has opinions on subjects from Lindsey Lohan to Floyd Landis, who he feels by the way, may be facing more of an uphill battle convincing people that he is the only one who did NOT cheat.

Formerly Fat Running Guy finds it increasingly difficult to believe anyone in cycling.

Sports Shit
has Michael Rasmussen testing positive for "roids" like Floyd Landis did. Misinformation abounds.

Pocket Pigs
reaches the kind of conclusion about the Floyd Landis PED allegations that may discourage the Landis camp.

Scholars and Rogues
thinks we are in the midst of the summer of scandal, and the death of sports.

Finger Food woke up and everything in sports is crazy. He wonders what happened to due process, and he fears that Floyd Landis will be lumped in with this year's Tour de France fiasco by the public. He also thinks that if major league baseball and football tested for PEDs the way cycling does there would be 1,000 new players tomorrow:

Along those lines everyone is quick to point out how “dirty” cycling is. But here is a fact: if MLB and the NFL acted like the UCI and the Tour de France, there would be more than 1,000 new players in those leagues tomorrow. The players in those sports should be thankful every day that they have a union that supports them.

Shamik Das says the Tour has learned something; in comparison to last year's events with Landis, they've gotten Ras kicked out before the last stage.

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