Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Roundup

News
The CyclingNews says this morning that Igor Astorloa did not drop out of the Giro from an intestinal disorder as was reported, but left due to "significant problems with his blood values". This was not deemed a positive control, but is now in the hands of his team management nonetheless.

The VeloNews also posts a bit about the Igor Astorloa story adding nothing new of note.

CyclingNews' weekly collection of reader letters is up with the usual mix of topics A-Z. Most interesting may be the note about Lance Armstrong's two positive drug tests, being the '99 cortisone cream with controversial TUE incident, and the problematic non-control EPO testing by LNDD.

In CyclingNews of the MTB
variety, CN wonders if Floyd Landis has gained back any of his racing form since being unable to keep up with the leaders at the Cohutta 100 earlier this spring. We'll know on Saturday.

The Washington Post has an article on cycling, largely centered on St. David Millar of Slipstream. Landis gets mentioned, but not Millar's ownership interest in his team. (tip from a reader)

Reuters reports Trevor Graham was convicted on one count of perjury, and no verdict on two others.

The Capistrano Dispatch causes some confusion with its announcement that Floyd Landis will be an announcer for the Grand Prix crits at Dana Point at 7AM on Sunday June 1. Hard to imagine how even Floyd Landis can be there after just getting done with the Mohican 100, unless of course he can catch the red eye back from Ohio:

Neighborhood celebrations are just one aspect of the Grand Prix, a criterium cycling race in its second year that consists of a 0.8-mile L-shaped course that goes through major streets and residential areas and draws pro teams and racers nationwide, including Olympians, world champs and California’s top masters teams. This year’s Grand Prix was even chosen as the official State Masters Criterium Championship, and Tour de France competitor Floyd Landis is expected to be an announcer.

Press Releases
TAS-CAS announced the Gatlin hearing is over, and a decision (without reasons) will be made on June 6th. If it's in his favor, it gives him time for the US Olympic Trials that start on June 27. If he loses, then the timing doesn't matter, so an expedited announcement like this doesn't hurt. One of the arbiters is the now familiar Richard McLaren.

Blogs
Tyler Sweeting had a good time meeting the "controversial" Floyd Landis at last year's Univest Grand Prix, and he displays his souvenirs from the event creatively.

WADAwatch points us to a post on Slowtwitch about protecting athletes from tainted supplements, itself based on a comment from Whareagle, who frequents here as well. This is an example of the echo chamber in action, "Testing 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3"

ArchPundit gives a plug for plugging away. Thanks!

Tech Tip O' the Day

From RoadBikeRider:
Monday's uphill time trial was about as difficult as any Giro stage ever (blizzards excepted). Many riders hated it and complained bitterly, saying it was too hard after 2 consecutive mountaintop finishes. The course began with a 7.6-km paved section with pitches of 14%, and then it got really steep (up to 24%) on the 5.3-km dirt road to the line. Giro leader Contador didn't see the climb until early on the day of the stage. He drove in a team car to the end of the pavement, then rode to the top. "I'm glad I did because it made me realize I needed a bigger [cog]," he said. He switched to a 34x30 low gear instead of the planned 34x28 and said afterward, "I think it helped me keep the pink jersey because my back wheel was slipping on the steepest parts of the climb."

TBV will save this and pull it out anytime someone laughs at his long cage derailleur and mountain cluster.

8 comments:

Trax said...

Is there any substance behind the claimed Armstrong "facts". I thought the Court testimony had been denied by the medics involved in his cancer treatment and was not given any credence. And isn't one of the "positive tests" for EPO that very controversial one by LNDD where they were trying a new technique illegally on ancient samples?

So much for "facts"

jrdbutcher said...

trax,
It would be more than generous to for a critical reader to agree with the writer that Armstrong tested positive during his career. That would also depend upon how loosely one defines “positive” in relationship to drug testing carried out upon him during his career. It’s hard to pin down the exact details wrt the saddle sore issue and the corti-cream exemption. However, he was not sanctioned by either the UCI or TdF over the issue, in spit of LA not being particularly popular with certain TdF officials. The issue of testing old samples, that were agreed by all legitimate involved parties to be for research purposes only, is/was nothing more than an attempt to discredit LA and his seven TdF wins. It was largely driven by a reporter looking to make a name for himself and a WADA approved lab (joke, cough) that had/has a history of leaking confidential information, altering testing protocol to suit its needs/whims, and keeping records of testing that are insufficient as proof for AAF’s, other than in a rigged system. Mr. and Mrs. Andreau testified under oath. Others testified the opposite, also under oath. The testimony was in relation to an insurance case. The case, and multi-million dollar award went to LA. That seems to haunt Betsy A to this day. Happy stewing Betsy.

TbV,
I'm glad AC demonstrated there is no shame in running low gears. How did your ride up Diablo go over the weekend? Any pics? Keep spinning that big cluster!

tbv@trustbut.com said...

JRD, main climb 1:32 @ 183w, 91 rpm, and 149 bpm -- not a hard race pace, but work on keeping the RPM up. Not bad for this time of year, as the power will improve along with the weight.

Also went down to N Gate and back up to the junction, but that was very lazy.

TBV

("Eightzero") said...

The WP article has this: "This year, Millar is racing on Vaughters's new Slipstream team, of which he is part owner." I didn't know that about St. David. Like Victor Kiam used to say, "I was so impressed, I bought the company!"

whareagle said...

8-0, Didn't Victor Kiam buy the Patriots? If he did, when did he sell them, and for how much?

jrdbutcher said...

David Millar has previously, and fairly widely, been reported to have an ownership interest in Slipstream. It has not been kept a secret, yet a quick read of the Post article doesn't seem to mention that, while it does mention how Millar lost his home and livelihood post coerced (caught with syringes) confession. It kind of begs the question, where did he come up with the goods to garner himself an ownership interest in the team? Does he own a fraction of a percent or something more subsantial? It doesn't matter much to me, nor is it my business to know, but it's curious none the less.

I'm not up for a search and a cite right now (think one can be found right here on TbV), but it was interesting to read that the money person behind Slipstream has been quoted something about winning and being competitive as being important to the team. The context was earning the pink jersey for CVdV of Slipstream in the Giro's TTT. Floyd had some words about the gee, we just want to ride clean mantra as being insulting from a competitor's viewpoint. I'd have to agree, but it looks like Slipstream's management seems to be coming around to articulating a more balanced approach. Maybe they heard and considered Floyd's words?

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

jrd,

I've seen it reported in a couple of places (though I don't have the links at the moment) that Millar's stake is 10 percent. If he was really earning 650K per year and he salted away some savings, I can see how he might have access to the funds to buy in. The question being: What was a team like Slipstream worth last year, when Millar bought a chunk of it. Probably not as much as it is now would be my guess.

It does seem like Slipstream management has been moderating their tone. Perhaps they did take Floyd's comments into consideration in some manner or fashion.

- Rant

jrdbutcher said...

Thanks for the info Rant and nice ride TbV. Did you have good company along with you?