Shameless Plug

Go check out David Brower’s “Trust But…“. There’s actual information there instead of the endless handwringing, waffling, whining, and backstabbing that I put out. I spent a large part of this evening following his links of the last three weeks, and it’s fascinating.

As far as I’m concerned, though, there’s no-one left in Pro Cycling to love – maybe the riders, ’cause drugs or no drugs, riding your butt off day in and day out for decades has got to be tough.

IN actual positive stuff about training and fitness

The guys from PezCycling News sum up FAQs for being one’s own coach.:

For those of you who have been following this “Be Your Own Coach” series for the last few months, there is still a lot we need to talk about concerning writing your own training schedule and designing your training year to fit your goals and your abilities. But with the racing season winding down in most parts of the country, and riders thinking about taking a break from the bike rather than designing a training schedule, I thought I’d skip ahead to what was originally intended to be the last part of the series. What follows below are some of the most commonly asked questions I’ve gotten over the last 6 years as a full time cycling coach.

How many times to I have to insist that you bookmark their site, or subscribe to their RSS feed?

Union Leader – Jim Fennell: Hamilton resumes long climb back to the top – Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006

Tyler Hamilton won the Mt. Washington Hill Climb last week. The interesting bit from the article, and one I’d like confirmation on, was the following:

Hamilton said the test that led to his suspension was eventually not used for over a year by the UCI because it was flawed. Deirdre Moynihan, the executive director of the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, said the negative publicity has hindered the organization’s growth.

Hamilton’s performance at the 2003 TDF, specifically Stage 16 with a broken collarbone, is still among the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. If the UCI really did withdraw the test, Tyler may be owed an apology.

Too bad he can’t get 2 years of his life back.

I’ve been reading the Princess Bride to Jake in the evenings – William Goldman’s description of “The Machine” that sucks life out is even more chilling than Cary Elwes’ weeping in the film. I cannot even begin to comprehend what Tyler (and maybe Floyd) must go through if they’re really unjustly accused.

Say it ain’t so, Mario…

PezCycling News breaks my heart today:

Cipollini Implicated

Oh this is fantastic. Procycling reports that Mario Cipollini is the latest rider implicated in the gargantuan Operacion Puerto affair – an investigation that has promised so so much, but has of yet provided oh so few suspensions…none.

Somehow, someone got some info (Thursday edition of La Repubblica) and now “investigators on the case suspect there were links between Cipollini and Eufemiano Fuentes.” Supposedly, Cipo’s alias in Fuentes’ file was Pavarotti.

Of course the links go straight to Mario Cipollini’s career season of 2002, when he won just about everything and then topped it off with his career-defining World Championship win in Zolder.

So how does this work? Say Cipo is found to have doped at Zolder, does that mean that Robbie McEwen gets to wear the Rainbow Jersey for a year…four, five, or six years (whenever this might, if ever, be settled) after the fact? That’s a sweet deal.

Fudge. Only I didn’t say “Fudge”. Time to go suck on the big bar of soap…

Landis through the eyes of Chemical Engineers

More on Floyd. This bit really interested me, ’cause of the source, Chemical & Engineering News: Science & Technology – The Dope On Testosterone Test.

Dopez-Vous au laitAs one commentator in the press noted, Landis may now be paying for the past sins of other cyclists. Most people are probably hoping that he is innocent. Still, it’s hard to forget that cycling has proven time after time to be a drug-ridden sport, as have most professional and international sports where athletes earn large sums of money to simply play. One possible deterrent, which is starting to be used, is to force athletes to return money if they are caught doping.

This kind of gets at what I was beating around a couple of days ago – when there’s the amount of money involved that there is in pro sport, there will be people who would grind up and eat their own mothers to win, or folks who would insinuate that the winners were eating their own mothers to sell papers about it.

Current IssueLandis has added another dimension to the scandal by suggesting that circumstantial evidence points to there being something sinister at work-that is, someone tampered with his sample, rigged the analysis, or altered the results. Indeed, the French drug-testing lab and officials at the international cycling federation have been under the gun before for improperly handling samples and quietly providing documentation on test results to reporters.

Adding weight to that argument is that Landis was the only rider, out of a starting field of 176 cyclists, to have a reported positive test during the Tour. Cycling officials have explained that away by saying the cheaters were excluded from the Tour de France because they had been caught up in a related Spanish doping scandal earlier in the year. That episode led to nine riders, including several favorites, being banned from this year’s race.

Is Floyd the only rider to test positive at the 2006 TdF? I’d thought there was one other…

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Vuelta a …. whatever.

The Vuelta kicked off on Spain’s Costa del Sol to a collective “Hey, you guys are still at it? At least this race is closer to the doctors, right?”

Wish I weren’t so cynical – the Vuelta’s been a great showcase for rising talent the past few years. But, it was also the first Grand Tour to have its champion stripped of the title for doping a couple of years back. Bleh.