Oh yes. This is totally the direction I want to see the sport going in. Take the sponsor who’s pleased enough with a gutsy third-place finish to put the bike in their museum, then dissolve their team. Follow that up by reintroducing the guy who was caught in a police sting at an illicit blood bank with 50,000 euros in cash. 2011 looks like it’s going to be a great year.
Granted, it seems like Cervelo delivered news of the break-up to riders with all the grace and delicacy of a 14-year-old, but I’d rather have a ProTour stocked with the discourteous than once again listen to the banal, amplified “vengas” of the man whose CV is a veritable Cliffs Notes on doping cases in the decade leading up to his arrest: the tutelage of a pre-Festina Alex Zulle, the sudden arrival and equally sudden collapse of Izidro Nozal, the fall of Roberto Heras, and finally, Operacion Puerto.
You’d think, with unemployment running at 20% in the country, the Spanish media—specifically El Diario Montanes, which conducted the interview—might be able to find a reporter with the ability to ask more pressing questions; namely “why the hell would anyone let you near the sport again?”. I’ll gladly advocate for the rights of dopers to return after two years, but a second offense is a lifetime ban; by my highly unofficial count, Saiz is on his 7th or 8th, depending on your feelings on salbutamol. Perhaps someone ought to get on translating these journalism labels into Spanish.
Not that the English media has proven any more effective of late. When Cervelo blamed its dissolution on “subtle” UCI rule changes that would have increased operating expenses, either no one asked—or no one bothered to repeat—exactly what those rule changes were. You’d think, now that the savagely funny flamewars inspired by pieces like this have moved off of USENET and into the comments section, a more incisive approach might be forthcoming from the Journal of Competitive Cycling.
Perhaps they’re content to leave that to The Onion.