Friday, June 30, 2006

Time to pick a new horse

So I'm sitting downstairs this morning, in my underwear, doing my morning check of e-mail and some daily websites when the phone rings. I figure it has to be work calling with some kind of problem, but no it's my dad. He says I think I'm going to go with Levi Leipheimer, which seems kind of weird since he didn't even pick him as first among the Americans, and then he says "You're still going with Ullrich right?" "Yeah." "No matter what?" At this point I start getting suspicious, particularly since I already know that Ullrich has been mentioned as one of the people with possible connections to Operación Puerto the big Spanish doping probe. Sure enough not only Ullrich, but Basso and Mancebo have been ejected.

In addition to all this the entire Astaná-Würth team is also under suspicion, and although they were recently given the go ahead to race I have a hard time imagining that now that Basso and Ullrich are out that Astaná-Würth will stay in. This will mean that Vinokourov would also be out. If that happened it would mean that out of last years top five finishers everyone (other than Lance who retired) has been kicked out of the race because of doping... I wonder if the tour (other than tours after the world wars) has ever started without any of the top five finishers from the year before?

So of course now I have to pick a new horse... I'm thinking Levi Leipheimer. He finished 6th last year, and now that the five people who finished above him are gone, I guess he's now the man. Plus he has the advantage of being american. One thing that's interesting to notice that if we eliminate the top five from last year and consider 6-8 as the podium we would have a time cut of only 34 seconds between 1st and 3rd place. Now that's what I would call an exciting Tour. And now that I've had the chance to think about it, while I'm greatly distressed by the doping and the accusations, I think that overall, from the standpoint of making the tour more exciting, it's going to end up being a positive thing. Don't get me wrong it's obviously a bad thing for the sport as a whole, but I think it makes the whole event more interesting.

Oh, and Germany won


Anonymous Ed said...

Man, I got the dates wrong for the World Cup games so I missed the Germany-Argentina match. Dagnabit.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Oh, do you have a new horse for the World Cup finals now as well?

1:26 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

You were going to tell me who your horse was after I left, when you going to do that?

At this point what I'd mostly like to see is a Germany/France finale, if only for historical reasons...

2:52 PM  
Anonymous ed said...

I'd love to see Portugal win it, but they just have not been playing terribly well. My guess is a Germany-France final, and it'll be a toss-up, maybe 1-1 tie going into PKs.

4:53 PM  

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