Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday Roundup

St Louis Today asks some interesting questions about whether LCL Banque (Credit Lyonnais) is getting what it wants out of its sponsorship of the Tour, with the defending champ not being present this year.

I wonder about the executives of LCL Banque and the chairman, board members and shareholders of its parent company, Crédit Agricole. How do they feel about spending 2 million euros to sponsor a symbol of excellence for which the defending champion and the No. 1 cyclist in the world is not allowed to contend?

The CyclingNews says that the UCI's blood passport program is establishing new rules, one of which is the "15 day no start rule" established for the first suspect blood value found from a rider. The UCI is confident that even though it is now doing fewer controls it has enough data on each rider to "draw conclusions". It is also targeting cyclists whose values were deemed suspicious. Unfortunately for the UCI its relevancy is seemingly reduced daily by the ASO's emerging stranglehold on the Grand Tours. See Rant below for more on targeted testing.

AP/McCall reports something we wouldn't have thought possible. It seems Ozzy Osbourne has won a libel suit. How is it possible to libel Ozzy Osbourne, we wondered? Of course: it was in the UK, which has rather different standards for libel than the US.

Rant discusses Christian Prudhomme's favorable attitude about so called "targeted testing" for PEDs, and gives several good rationals that would suggest this to be an unintelligent solution to the dilemma of doping in cycling:

Targeted testing is not fine if it’s the whole program. Why? Well for a few reasons. One, the only people you’ll catch are the ones you’re testing. Pretty obvious, eh?

Two, if you’re trying to strike fear into the hearts of riders, and to make them believe that they will eventually get caught, then this undercuts the credibility of that implied threat. Not much in the way of deterrence. “Yeah, right they’re gonna catch me,” I can hear some determined doper say, “they’re too distracted going after the big names to even be looking in my direction.” In effect, making targeted testing the whole game gives a large number of potential cheaters a twisted incentive to cheat. Just don’t dope so much that you draw attention to yourself, and you’ll be fine.

Now, with targeted testing, if you’ve got solid evidence (like a snitch you can believe in) go for it. But a real potential exists for riders/athletes being targeted for other reasons. Do something to piss off the powers that be, and you could find yourself on the wrong end of a doping test — for, like, ever.

Pink Bike Site posts the improbable picture below showing Floyd Landis signing a LeMond, surely this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Landis Marks Territory (photo by Dave Miskieiwcz)

Sun Dappled Forest put us on their blogroll, labeled "Landis Apologists". Uh, thanks, we guess.

Better Late than Never
Hall of Fame has an article that looks old that we don't remember seeing before, titled, "The Strange and Curious Case of Floyd Landis", which rings mostly true.

Look in the eyes of the accused and decide for yourself. Or better yet, don't decide. Go do what Floyd Landis wants to do more than anything, even more than proving his innocence. He wants to wake up in the morning, hop on a two-wheeled toy, roll down his driveway, wave at his neighbors headed off to work, and feel the warm sun on the side of his face as he thanks his creator. He'll appreciate more than we know, his legs that go up and down smoothly as he faces an uncertain path, knowing some things he can control and others he is controlled by. More than anything, Floyd Landis just wants to be left alone to ride his bike.

But I suppose that's a lot to ask.

All four articles there by Scott Tinley, a two-time World Triathlon Champion, are insightful and recommended.


jrdbutcher said...

As human beings, there is no comparison between the one time TdF Champ and a certain three time TdF Champ.

Signing the LeMond bike shows Floyd has a sense of humor, doesn’t take himself too seriously, that he’s friendly and a generous guy. Hope GL sees the pic. That should raise his blood pressure a bit.

Even if you have any affection for the current GL (I don’t), and you have a chance to interact with him, I’ll give odds that any such interaction will be all about him. GL was a great rider in his day, but is not a friendly or generous character.

Kharma should bite him in the ass.

jrdbutcher said...

Thanks for the links to the articles. Scott Tinley is quite insightful regarding his articles on Bode and Floyd. Insightful, but a tad overboard on the whole “hero” thing.

Fans don’t need heroes and many competitors (the ones with their heads screwed on straight) don’t want to offer themselves up to being one. For me, I’ll appreciate Bode for having the ability to bend his skis into some of the purest turns I’ve ever seen on snow. I’ll appreciate Floyd for having the fitness, talent, and guts to put the peloton in the hurt bin and win the 2006 TdF against tall odds. No heroes needed here, just a sincere appreciation for those that can do, actually doing it. He’s to hoping Floyd gets his chance again. Apologies for the morons preventing from doing so.