Ah, nothing like the election of what the US government calls a a terrorist group to kick off the Middle Eastern racing season. World Champ Tom Boonen has picked up right where he left off, taking today’s GP Doha ahead of Robbie Hunter and Erik Zabel (though I’ve got no clue why the Flandrian did it wearing a Team EspaÃ±a helmet). According the the CSC webpage, however, Stuart O’Grady totally should have won, but was denied only by a a broken chain. And if you think that’s a skeptical claim, check out Bode Miller’s latest, allegedly from a forthcoming issue of Rolling Stone:
“Right now, if you want to cheat, you can: Barry Bonds and those guys are just knowingly cheating, but there’s all sorts of loopholes. If you say it has to be ‘knowingly’, you do what Lance and all those guys do, where every morning their doctor gives them a box of pills and they don’t ask anything, they just take the pills.”
Despite syntax reminiscent of Ralph Wiggum, the quote is about doping, so, as I said yesterday (scroll to end of 2nd paragraph), sharks on a whale carcass. Never mind that The Bode presents no evidence to back up his claim, nor even exhibits so much as the most basic knowledge of how cyclists actually dope (he mentions a “box of pills”, when most effective cycling performance enhancers require you to poke yourself); if it bleeds, it leads, right guys?
And it’s a good thing the cycling media’s got this Bode story to kick around, too, because before it broke, everyone was running with nothing but dry-bread pieces. There’s this interview of Mick Rogers that anyone with passing knowledge of the Aussie’s carreer could guess his answers to, while in another shocker, Phonak, probably after hearing my derision (3rd paragraph) of their previous season objectives, said they now want to win the Tour de France. Meanwhile, pint-sized Columbian Jose Rujano is out of the Tour of Langkawi, ostensibly due to injury, but more likely out of fear of having to do naked squats. Ag2r, having picked up a new sponsor, wont have to worry about running out of “bread” anytime soon (yuk, yuk), and, finally, just when you thought it had run out of steam, the train of Saunier Duval stories rumbles on.