Wednesday, July 25, 2007

250th Post on Blogger

This is my 250th post on blogger. (I had 678 on the old system, so still a ways away from 1000.) One would hope that it would be a happy post, but instead it's just more bad news from the Tour. At work the company intranet is my IE homepage and Wikipedia is my Firefox homepage. I had just opened up Firefox, I'm not sure where I was headed, but the name Rasmussen caught my eye in the news section. Sure enough he'd been kicked out of the tour. Obviously no one is happy about this (least of all Rasmussen I imagine) but I'm glad it happened now rather than after the tour had ended (like last year). On top of this announcement it turned out another rider (Moreni) riding for the Cofidis team had tested positive for testosterone. Which meant the entire Cofidis team was out... *sigh*

There was one good thing about the Moreni test, he immediately admitted he was guilty and didn't bother to have them run the "B" sample. I honestly feel that if the guy confesses that there should be some room for lenience. In any case my man Contador is now in Yellow, but I'm sure that this is not how he wanted it to happen. In fact the Discovery team spokesperson said:

"We just heard the news 20 minutes ago, obviously, this is not good news. We are in no way celebrating. It's a major disappointment for us. It's going to reflect very negatively on the whole sport. We are quite shocked and upset about it.

Riders were just getting to bed when they heard the news. They have all heard the news now, and not one of them had a smile on their face. This is a sport they have all done for a number of years, and nobody is very happy about this.

Like I said I'm glad it happened now, I would have been happier (the opinion many doping officials expressed) if he had never made it into the tour. For any of you who don't want to follow the link the thing that finally got him was that when he was missing all those out of competition tests he wasn't in Mexico, as he claimed, but in Italy, working with a as-of-yet-unnamed doctor. Obviously it's hard to imagine any explanation for this deception that's not very suspicious.

Anyway back to Contador, yeah obviously you'd like to win out right, but allow me to paint you a scenario where he would have. All of Rasmussen's advantage came in the first day in the mountains when the major contenders let him go because they didn't consider him a threat. Had they known, I'm positive that Contador and the rest could have stayed with him. Add in Contador's flat tire (in other words assumed he finished stage 8 with Moreau and Valverde) and suddenly, even after the time gained by Rasmussen today, Contador is a few seconds ahead. I agree that this should-have-would-have-could-have scenario is not entirely convincing, but my point is, particularly when you look at how squirrelly Rasmussen has been, that there should be no asterisk next to the name of whoever wins this Tour (obviously I hope it's Contador).

I'm intensely interested in hearing Rasmussen's side of the story, but I imagine that will have to wait until tomorrow. I apologize that I haven't been blogging that much, and that when I have it's all tour all the time, (and I haven't even mentioned Vinokourov) but it ends on Sunday and then I'll fill you in with more details on the company I'm starting.

et tu Vino?


Blogger Denise said...

I am a little confused did he get kicked out or did he leave after a lot of pressure?

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

A quick Tour question: how many Frenchmen have been kicked out in the last 10 years?

11:28 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

Denise: His team fired him. The race itself had wanted him out for a long time, but the team defended him until the discovered he had lied about his whereabouts.

Ed: The Festina Team that was the center of the '98 doping scandal was a french team. I haven't been able to find a complete list of the riders on the team, but Virenque and Laurent Brochard were noted french riders on the team. Other than that it's mostly been non-french riders, which is probably why they're so upset.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Jim Rome and all of the LA area sports shows are declaring cycling, as a sport, dead. I tend to agree. Most Americans don't know the rules and can't understand why a team would throw their leader "under the bus." Rome compared it to firing Tom Brady in the middle of the Superbowl...a little too simplistic, I know, but his analogy fits most American's perception. Americans will only be paying attention to the Tour on YouTube for the crashes. And aside from the Tour, they don't pay attention to cycling at all.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

For some reason, your comments page is showing up encoded in Japanese right now (not the comments themselves, but the other text). E.g., "Ed-san wa kakimashita..." (in Japanese characters)... Is it just me?

10:14 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

I think it might just be you...

5:19 PM  
Blogger aozora said...

ed can read Japanese?

7:33 AM  
Anonymous hallamigo said...

Jim Rome, Jim Rome -- if only Everett had gotten in a good punch.

1:14 PM  

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