Ah, you see—I’m not the only one driven to near paralysis by monotony of things this time of year. My advice to all the Internetters who can’t bring themselves to write during the off-season is to step up your skill set—nothing like a few slow weeks to take down a big project or two.
That said, this winter’s given most bloggers plenty to write about. Tom Zirbel’s DHEA positive has certainly ruffled a few feathers; Euro Peloton went so far as to call it a “body blow” for the domestic scene.
I’m less decidedly less emo about it. I think it’s highly unlikely that Zirbel was doping—Tyler Hamilton’s supplement positive put a spotlight on DHEA this spring, meaning that most cyclists had fair warning about not ingesting it. Zirbel, for what it’s worth, claims innocence—I’m hoping he can track down some sort of subterfuge so WADA is finally forced to hand down a Nazi Frogmen exemption.
At any rate, the substance is pretty obviously a placebo, so Zirbel might have the additional recourse of challenging the validity of DHEA’s presence on the WADA banned list. Yes, it means another year and half of repetitive, boring articles as the wheels of justice grind slowly forward, but it also means additional accountability for a system that’s enjoyed an essentially free hand for the past ten years.
Returning to the headlines, there also seems to be a steaming pile of human interest stories about people making Hollywood-style transitions to the pro ranks. While I’m sure it helps sell ad space, I can’t say I find it too interesting—talent is talent, and the donkey/racehorse relationship is a two-way street.
Far more compelling from my persepctive me is word that Gilberto Simoni might still be racing next season. Anyone can make a comeback after a few years of loafing, but to maintain the rigidly monastic existence of a professional cyclist for 15+ years is another thing all together. If Gibo does sign, a photo along side potential teammate Salvatore Commesso should drive my point home nicely.