Sunday, May 22, 2011

Musings On Pro Road Cycling

I usually try to stay away from talking about Pro Road Cycling since, well.......there are a lot of reasons for that, actually. Some of those reasons I will discuss today. The short of it all is that the whole mess just makes my head hurt when I try to understand it.

First of all, I received another anonymous post through the U.S.P.S. about a month ago in the form of a post card. I mention this because in this age of texting, Twitter, and the now considered to be "old school" way of communicating, e-mail, a post card is akin to placing a call via smoke signals. Who sends post cards, (or as a recent Trans Iowa V7 competitor did), writes a hand written letter these days?

I think I am still in shock from the rarity of the effort and the media used in these two cases, but I digress.....

Back to the post card, which featured a clipping glued to the card from the "San Francisco Chronicle " dated 4-13-11. (A newspaper clipping! GASP!) The card's attachment had a statement from Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci stating that doping was so prevalent in his country's cycling program that the cycling federation's leaders need to tell the teams and riders "to stop because nobody believes you anymore."

I heartily agree. And furthermore; we all should just stop believing any of the riders since it just doesn't seem to matter anymore. Oh sure, I know some of them are clean,but we all know some of them are not. It makes my head hurt to try and figure out who is who, and even the doping controls can't sort it all out. The Tour de France starts in a little more than a month, and we still do not know if last year's "winner" won it or not.

Sorry, but that's just crap. I can't be asked to believe in racing, or care to invest my time digging into being a fan of it all when the biggest champions of this ere are almost all, to a man, cheaters, or suspected to be such. When the winners of races are stripped of their titles due to this cheating. I can't believe in a sport that has drug controls that don't control anything. When, after every race, they proclaim a "clean field", only to find out months or years later, that wasn't at all the case.

Pro road cycling could be really cool, it is a beautiful part of cycling, but I won't be taking much notice until they get their act together and clean up the sport. They show no signs of getting that done anytime soon, even after the "Festina Affair", (13 years ago), and "Operacion Puerto", (5 years ago).

"Much has been said, my Lords, but nothing is being done. "

Just stop it, because I don't believe you anymore.

Time for a bicycle ride!


Unknown said...


Unfortunately, the reality is that doping is prevalent in sport; at all levels and most any sport. It is sad but true. Like you, I am very tired of all the press that the sports get. But I don't believe any of them in any sport: MTB, skiing, weightlifting, running. There was a guy busted in table tennis. It is ALL. A bunch of lies and the authorities are part of the problem. Negative drug tests does not mean clean sport.

Bruce Brown said...

Yeah, let's get back to the days when riders carried little bags of tacks with them in the Tour de France to scatter across the road so their competition would flat. Or they would hitch a ride when nobody was looking. Now that was more fun than the doping version of these grand tours these days. ;-]

Ari said...

I have lost all interest in road riding and much prefer to be out in the country on some gravel. I don't miss spending almost all of july stuck to the t.v.
Will Lance ever go down? That is the question.

Guitar Ted said...

@Edwin: Yeah, I am also not very interested in many "professional" sports. Not just because of doping, but yeah, I hear ya on that.

@Bruce Brown: Funny to think of how riders might have dealt with a tack-throwin' competitor back in the day. I'm thinking it wouldn't take about a year to settle the score.

Also, I just don't think "going back" to anything here is the answer, really. Just give me something believable where the athletes are not pampered, spoilt brats that cheat at the drop of a hat. (Not just cyclists, but really almost all "professional" athletes)

It's interesting how many folks like amateur athletics over that of the Pro ranks, and I think it is for these very reasons.

@Ari: It saddens me that the passions of someone like yourself, (or myself) that loved the beauty and suffering of road racing have to turn away because things are so jacked up now. It could be so much better. Just really depressing to think about.