What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Monday

Pause for Refreshment midday, check out your latest EuroTrash. The Tour has temporarily ceased its clockwork ticking and left us all a bit down and out, and on a Monday no less. It does indeed appear as if the Tour has very nearly swallowed all other cycling whole, but we can always scrape a few tiddly-bits.

1999?
Sean Eadie looks to be in a spot of trouble right now, as his chances of starting in the upcoming Olympic Games have taken a blow. Eadie has been implicated in a doping investigation dating back to 1999, in which a package containing anterior pituitary peptides (same class as HGH) was intercepted on its way to his house in Australia. The package originally left from American soil, and thus Eadie is looking at the evil spectre of drug trafficking charges.

Good news for the bearded brute, Eadie, who has only turned up negative tests in his career – there is precedent in this case from only one year ago, namely Stuart Rendell, Australian hammer throw champion. Rendell took his case to the Court of Arbitration in Sport and the charges were subsequently dropped. Thankfully, the witch hunting tactics haven’t gone so far yet as to incriminate an athlete just for having illegal substances sent to his/her house, otherwise I have a feeling Lance Armstrong might be the receiver of numerous “gifts.” In short, it has to be proven that Eadie “ordered for it, paid for it, and intended to bring it into the country,” so sayeth the Cycling Australia spokesperson (Cyclingnews report).

In other words, Eadie is still in a good position, and provided he actually didn’t order drugs from the US and have them shipped to his front door, it should be ok. I mean, no one is that stupid right? Well, ok, David Millar definitely brought down my high esteem for humans and their common sense whilst cheating…

Spanish Olympic Team
The Spanish Olympic Team is almost complete. Jose Ivan Gutierrez, recently crowned Spanish Time Trial Champion, has been named to the team where he now joins World Champion runner-up Alejandro Valverde, World Champion Igor Astarloa, and two-time World Champion Oscar Freire. There is still one place to be filled, and looks to be headed to another strong time triallist – the Tour should do well to sort that out.

Cipo, Say It Ain’t SO!
Mario Cipollini, Re Leone himself, has announced that apart from some criteriums, he will not take part in anymore races this year.

That might be the most depressing news I’ve written in a long time. Of all of the cyclists that it might be possible to get in the head of, wouldn’t it be nice to give ol Cipo a little pep talk? Cycling needs Cipo, WE need Cipo, please come back Cipo, you can train with me and Cadel if you want.


Here’s What They Said About Cipo’s Exit – Complied by Michele Tomasi
Giancarlo Salutini (DS Domina Vacanze): “Perhaps Mario wasn’t at 100% but at 90% of his condition at the start of this Tour de France, anyway his condition was growing, he was feeling better every day. We had a lot of bad luck at this Tour, a crash with Cipollini at the first stage, then we lost Fagnini, who was the key man for the Mario’s sprints. Mario’s crash opened the injury that he got at the Giro. Now he needs to recover, but then I don’t know what he will do. He still has a contract with us for next year. Now, talking about our team, we will try to bring Scarponi to the feet of the mountains in a good place, and I’m sure he can surprise us”.

Mauro Battaglini (Cipollini’s Manager): “Now Cipollini needs to recover as soon as possible, because his injury is very serious. We know how serious he is, and I’m sure as soon as he will start to train again, he will start to think about Milano-Sanremo. I don’t know if he will do anything during the end of this season…”.

Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze): “I’m very sorry to leave the Tour, as it’s a race that I feel a lot. My condition was growing, and already in the sprint of Wasquehal I had good feelings”.

Two More Riders Get The Axe
The guillotine of Jean Marie LeBlanc’s zero tolerance policy for rider’s under investigation for doping has dropped again, this time taking the heads of Stefano Casagranda (Saeco) and Martin Hivastija (Alessio-Bianchi). The two have recently been implicated in the Italian witch hunt, I mean doping investigation and are thus subsequently unwelcome to continue as the race hits the mountains in the coming days.

The words of the man himself, Jean Marie Leblanc:

“We received the information from the authorities in Padua that the cyclists Martin Hvastija and Stefano Casagranda are subject to an investigation pertaining to doping. We passed this information on to the managers of the teams involved, Bruno Cenghialta (Alessio) and Giuseppe Martinelli (Saeco), and informed them that the presence of these two cyclists at the Tour is no longer wished. We will also make an official written statement later.”

Jan Ullrich Talking Confidently
Jan Ullrich appears confident as the race hits the mountains this week. In a press conference during the rest day in Limoges he had some interesting words…

“I will attack when the legs are good and the situation presents itself. I’m not worried about my deficit of 55 seconds, but naturally I would prefer to have that as an advantage. I’m not going to run to my room and hide myself under the covers and cry though either.”

He continues, “I am interested how it will go in the mountains. After the flat stages, I don’t think any of us knows exactly how it will go when the road goes up. If I feel good, I will go with Tyler Hamilton or someone else if they attack. I am not attached to Lance Armstrong.”

In reference to Lance Armstrong, Ullrich noted: “He looks very strong.”

It will indeed be interesting to see what happens when the road FINALLY goes skyward. This saving all the fun for the end is no fun at all.

Dumoulin Latest Casualty
The Tour de France is indeed one of the toughest sporting exploits on the planet, the race is just plain evil, but when you start mixing in rain and wind and attacking dogs, it just gets a bit ridiculous. A scant few kilometers from the finish to yesterday’s stage, a dog entered into the fray as Tour playmaker and took down a number of riders, Samuel Dumoulin of AG2R getting the worst of it. He finished the stage, but x-rays later showed that he had a broken elbow.

Just think, he almost made it to the rest day, and after that he would have been privileged to take on the real difficulties of the Tour.

(www.jeredgruber.com)

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