Aug 20 2007
Ah – I’m back. And not like when Frank Vandenbroucke says he’s back. After two weeks of the most strenuous vacation ever (unfortunately, not on the bike), I have returned to work. Obviously, job number one is to start blogging again. And let me tell you, it’s hard to just jump back into things in the cycling world. I mean, yeah, sometimes it’s easy – Jens Voight taking back to back Tour de Germany wins, for instance. But sometimes it’s much, much harder.
Take the case of Andreas Kloden – he’s looking around for another team, then he admits Astana was a mistake, then all of a sudden pledges his loyalty. WTF?! Stupid Germans. You don’t see Robbie McEwen playing the wilting daisy when his team tries to yank him around. No wonder yet another German squad in the ProTour is on the verge of pulling sponsorship, while the Aussies are gearing up to fill the spot.
Then I get stories like this. I mean, LL Sanchez (the non-TDF winner, non-disgraced dope facilitator featured here) hasn’t really been in the news since Paris-Nice. Now he’s leading Caisse D’Epargne at the Vuelta? Where did this come from? And this is on top of Alessandro “didn’t your season end four months ago?” Ballan winning at Vatenfall? Plus Ignatiev at Burgos?! For crying out loud – at least the (now-established) Soler and Valverde – riders you’d be expecting to hear about in August – were the chief GC contenders in that event.
And then there’s the eternal story. Koldo Gil – still possibly a doper despite previous reports to the contrary. Apparently, this was some sort of translation error, which is still a better excuse than USADA has for slacking off on NRC events. And far better than Vino, who was caught during competition, saying that out-of-competition dope testing violates human rights. Vino’s old team, unbowed by the loss of any rider you’ve ever heard of before, returns to competition at the GP Plouay, where they booed Hincapie in 2005. Might get interesting if an Astana rider wins it.