Friday, May 20, 2011

The Grossglockner is Etna; Etna is the Grossglockner; LA used PEDs?!

What do you do as a sprinter knowing the stage you are racing will be your last in this year's Giro (because the road tips up and it isn't worth the effort if there aren't any sprint stages left)? You tell your teammates to go to the front and destroy the field for you:

All aboard the pain train.If all goes your way you win, like Cavendish did for the second time this Giro:

Who said the English can't count?In his excitement, Cav decided to use his fingers to create a visual representation of the number of stages he has won. Either that or he has jumped on the hippie bandwagon and is asking for peace. I only say that because his visual sign this year is a bit different from last year's.

In what seemed to be a replay of stage 9's climb of Etna (except today's stage was in Austria, was rainy, and was an entirely different stage), AC and the little Venezuelan (no not Hugo Chávez) José Rujano broke from the pack on the last climb. Unlike stage 9, Rujano won the stage - though it would probably be fairer to say that he was gifted it by AC:

Why do I say that it was a gift? For one, Rujano looked back at AC three times in the last 50 meters to see if he was going to pass him. For another, look at how short this guy is, there's no way he could have held off AC if he had wanted to accelerate and take the stage:

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that step is about three feet tall.Fun fact - Rujano has won more races as a jockey than a bike rider.

The next question one would ask is why would AC let him win? Rujano has been the only person who can stay with AC on the climbs and is almost six minutes back in the GC so he posses no threat. The other riders who everyone thought could pose a threat? Look at these gaps (and add that to the 50+ seconds he took on Etna) and you'll see that as of right now they pose about as much threat as Donald Trump does to President Obama's chances of being reelected in 2014:

After watching it's hard to believe the gaps were that little.With today's effort AC is now leading in the GC, mountains classification, and points competition. You'd think the way AC has been riding despite his case being decided by CAS would be the big news in the world of cycling, but it's not.

In a 60 Minutes interview, disgraced Olympic Champion and former teammate of Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton admitted he took performance enhancing drugs as well as saying the he saw LA use EPO. The response from LA's camp is the same one we heard when Landis made his claims of LA's drug use; "he has no credibility." So how did team LA respond to the news that his most trusted lieutenant and friend, George Hincapie, testified that he used EPO and testosterone with LA while with the Postal Service Team? They insinuated that since the reports are anonymous they are false - I guess that means that Hincapie still has some credibility. Another former USPS rider, though he left the team before LA arrived, has come forward and stated that he was offered PEDs while a team rider. The next, and probably last, big piece of the puzzle is Levi Leipheimer, another of LA's "inner circle" crew.

So what do you do when you are the greatest TdF rider in the history of the sport and it looks like this just may be your last race? You send your team to the front and hope you can pull out a victory.

No comments:

Post a Comment