The Boulder Report wonders if Rock Racing just "bought" itself a guarantee (with a fat $500,000.00 check to AEG) of who it may want to race at the Tour of California. Good question:
So what's this all mean? Did Rock effectively just purchase the right to keep its original roster submission intact? (Four of the six riders who team owner Michael Ball says have "guaranteed" start spots appeared to clash at least aesthetically with AEG's strict new "no doping investigations" mandate.) USA Cycling is reportedly still reviewing roster submissions, so we don't yet know the final makeup of any team competing at the Tour of California...
The VeloNews says that 2007 Tour de France champ Alberto Contador, who faces exclusion by the ASO from this year's Tour due to Astana's past doping sins, has a "plan B". It's a good thing someone does.
The CyclingNews notes that the upcoming Paris-Nice team roster announcement next week may be an indication of Astana's chances for a Tour de France invite. In other cyclingnews Bjorn Leukemans hearing date has been announced. Leukemans feels he will be vindicated and will ride again soon in the peloton, still his eyes have been opened:
..."I lost my naivety and a lot more," he said. He has no contact with his former team, Silence-Lotto, or his former colleagues. "The team management ignores me. I asked [sport director] Marc Sergeant if I could return if I am cleared. He never answered me."
He continued, "I don't hear any more from the riders, not from Nick Nuyens or anyone else. I have no friends left in the group, only colleagues."
Sounds eerily familiar. And in further CyclingNews Pat McQuaid of the UCI thinks that Giro has taken a step back in time with its omission of four Pro Tour teams from the starting roster:
I do not understand" said McQuaid to the AFP. "The organizer of Giro (RCS) knows the event is one of the greatest tests, but he does not include the best teams. The 18 ProTour teams are the top 18 teams in the world. Ok, the organizers have the right to invite whom they please, but everyone knows there is a hierarchy of races and also of teams."
McQuaid termed the team choices arbitrary, citing economic and national reasons and contrasted the selections with the UCI's work to look out for the whole sport.
"In my opinion, it will be necessary to return to rules about participation. The organizer must have responsibilities for the organization for his race, not for the participation"
McQuaid further notes that Astana, in its present iteration, is not responsible for mistakes the team had made in the past and that it deserves an invitation to the Tour de France.
Bloomberg reports some riders, including Contador, are unhappy with the ASO for not paying out the prize money in a timely fashion. If there's one thing that encourages unionization, it's messing with people's money.
WADAWatch gives a press award to the Canadian version of a recent interview with Mr. Pound, which says that Landis has already lost his CAS appeal. Why let facts get in the way of a story?
Later, in a different post WADAWatch supports Robert Briner for CAS head. On Mr. Pound's candidacy, WADAWatch has one word: Never.
Fonk is bummed that his name is not on the Leadville 100 entry list. Neither is Floyd Landis', though who knows if that means anything-- we note that 2007 winner Dave Weins isn't on the list either. Fonk can now target the Tahoe Sierra 100 and Floyd will definitely be there.
SteroidReport a new and interesting site, quotes an article on paranoia about steroids, and closes with:
The puritanical righteousness is even more pronounced with regard to steroids than with other drugs because of the underlying eroticism associated with the steroid-enhanced muscularity that our society moral guardians find morally disturbing.
We won't touch that, but will end the evening with a glass of wine, which is legal for folks our age, and only somewhat morally disturbing.