The Boulder Report notes the tension and conflict that defined the start of the Tour of California yesterday in light of the last minute behind the scenes maneuverings that disallowed three members of Rock Racing from participating. Clearly as cycling tries to rid itself of its past, its future is still greatly in question.
The Marin Independent Journal comments on the hilarity and chaos caused by celebrity cycling nut Robin Williams Friday night at a ToC event in Sausalito. Even former ToC champ Floyd Landis wanted his picture taken with the comedian, who joked about all sorts of subjects:
"It's amazing to see a race like this (in Marin)," Williams said before going off on another tangent. "(But) the drug testing in Mendocino will be difficult because people will be holding up chocolates and you're hoping someone doesn't go for them. What are you doing? Multiple choice."
For Midwest, East Coast and international readers, Mendocino is the spiritual home of marijuana culture in California, and this is a reference to "pot brownies" that would trip a cannabis test. Yeah, some things shouldn't need explanation, like, say, his remark that Viagra is a PED for the pole vault.
The VeloNews says that Levi Leipheimer has established LetLeviRide.com, a grass roots effort to draw attention to the arbitrary nature of the ASO's decision to exclude Team Astana from all of its events this year:
“With LetLeviRide.com I’m not disputing the ASO’s right to decide which teams it invites to the Tour and which teams it doesn’t,” notes Leipheimer. “I’m drawing attention to the fact that this decision by the ASO is completely arbitrary and unjust. I had nothing to do with Astana prior to joining the team this year. There are many other teams with tainted pasts that haven’t changed management or structure like the new Astana has, yet Astana is singled out and excluded. Where’s the consistency? By taking action now it looks political. It looks like the ASO has a grudge against a team that can win its races. My hope is that this campaign will encourage the ASO to reconsider its decision.”
The CyclingNews notes the specially made Rock Racing team kits that its three banned riders were sporting yesterday at the ToC prologue. CN also reports on some of the same old names being connected to a new blood doping scandal alleged to have centered around a clinic in Vienna. The list of names came from an anonymous source and cyclist Joost Posthuma comments on the propriety of publishing the information:
Posthuma, 26, added, "The journalists say they have to be careful what they write, because it is only based on an anonymous tip. But they still go ahead and publish the names of athletes."
Bicycling/Christie Aschwanden did a long piece referenced by The Boulder Report above about Tyler Hamilton. Many of the dilemmas discussed there apply as well to the Landis case. Our name, "Trust But Verify", was in no small part a reaction to the awkward "Believe" positioning in the earlier case. And we think Hamilton should have started yesterday, having done time for the one offense, and the "UCI Confirmed" OP case being one that would have to be folded into the previous one by the rules, with no additional penalty possible.
Today's VeloNews Mailbag contains a suggestion for race promoters thinking of banning individual riders they find suspicious.
The Columbia Tribune has a story about the swimming comeback of 40 year old Dara Torres, complete with PED rumours and Landis reference. Stories like this used to be heart-warmers. Tip from wschart.
Pommi rode his new bike to the ToC prologue yesterday but unfortunately couldn't find TBV and GMR. Pommi went to the turnaround at the end of University, and we were at the start of University. Sigh.
Spare Cycles snapped a picture of Floyd Landis at yesterday's prologue of the ToC.
Team Specialized rode with Floyd Landis and many other cycling celebs in the morning and worked hard to see that the Davis Phinney Foundation Dinner in the evening went off without a hitch, sounds like an exciting day.
Velogal has a Prologue report, and some pictures.
Spinnin Wheel watched the Prologue, had a Landis sighting, and another of an FFF T shirt in the crowd.
Racejunkie wonders about the seemingly poverty stricken cyclingtv.com, thank goodness Amgen has its own web site with excellent race coverage. RJ also thinks Rock Racing may just be trying to frighten people with the new team kit given the poor boys who cannot race this week.