There’s an awful lot of “I don’t know” or “we didn’t know” in cycling. Ballan just got hooked from the BMC squad, and Och (who’s got a skeleton overcrowding problem in his closet himself) has the nuggets to say “we didn’t know who his coach was”. Right. You didn’t know. And of course, this was all Lampre time, not BMC, and the investigation claims to center on distribution as opposed to individual use, but you know….where there’s smoke…..blah blah blah.
And just now a bunch of Frenchie kids get popped. L’Avenir sorts. Well covered by layers of masking agents. So the “turning the corner” and “new generation” stuff is a bit overblown as we suspected.
And you watch early season races and classics and you see Ricco, Millar, Scarponi, Chicken, and worst of all, Valverde along with all their other dirty little friends just riding away. What the hell, let’s let Tyler Hamilton and Di Luca back in the mix too. And of course the “too big to fail” riders that bring in the cash, they get carte blanche.
For all the professions of cleanliness and ethics, I just can’t help but feel this is one big long April Fool’s joke. Still. I know I’ve been harping on it for years, but it just saddens me to no end to see the very essence of sport – and to some extent decency – trampled with cheating, lies, and incredulity.
That said, I’m off to rub shoulders with the needle ponies themselves for Ardennes week. Look for some fun posts and pictures over the next 15 days.