As the old saying goes, you know it’s gonna be a s&!â€ â€ Â¥ day when the lead story is Ag2r becomes 20th ProTour team. Actually, I just made that saying up. But it surely is a harbinger of doom when the big story was a fait accompli last month, right? Because now there’s a total of a 5 French teams in the ProTour, despite the fact that French teams suck, yeah? Well, actually, no. Turns out the French teams don’t suck that hard. As the final ’05 Team Rankings Show, the Italian squads are far worse (if you put any faith in ProTour scoring system, which is a whole other can of worms entirely). And, though many scoffed at the idea of the UCI leaving a 19-team ProTour, there are those who think the ProTour would benefit greatly from a downsizing. Of course, this could all be deck chairs on the Titanic, because fewer and fewer teams are going to bother with a ProTour license if it doesn’t give them a free pass to the Grand Tours.
One guy whose Grand Tour Ticket seems freakin’ punched already is Igor Astarloa. People have been blabbing about his return for months. Problem is, they’ve got no clue where he’s going to go. I know, I thought we’d settled this yesterday, too, but those goons over at ProCycling went and published another story about Astarloa going to Liquigas, after the Tuttobici story that said he wasn’t. My guess is they just dropped the ball, and judging from the frequency with which they update their page, we won’t find out for a week. For something completely different, PezCyclingNews is running a recipe for DIY energy bars. The advantages to making your own bars include being able to satisfy your long-held desire for a pickled banana flavor, and saving some green. Nice to see a wallet-friendly story from Pez, which runs perhaps one too many features on carbon fiber coffee cups (not that it’s a bad thing).
If you do choose to make your own energy foods, beware: it will significantly harm the cromulence of your “tainted sample” doping defense. I bring this up because Dick Pound is on the prowl again. His latest target? Pro Hockey. From the this article in the CP:
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman…told [Pound] the league doesn’t have a problem with players using performance-enhancing substances.
“I told him he does,” Pound told the London Free Press. “You wouldn’t be far wrong if you said a third” are using such substances.
Evidence? Please. He’s Dick Pound, bitch. (ala Dave Chapelle). He is above mere evidence. A weak drug testing program is proof enough of doping. Two random drug tests a year equals 1/3 of the players on drugs. It’s simple math, people.