Sometimes I worry that there might not be anything to write about on Mondays. It’s weeks like this one where my faith in humanity is restored and I realize that as long as there are people there will be feuds, arguments, disagreements, lying, and cheating. We’ve got it all this week.
Jens Voigt Likes CSC
German strongman, Jens Voigt, has renewed his contract with CSC for two more years. Voigt finished the Tour on a very high note with a top 10 placing in the final time trial. He also placed second overall in the Tour of Georgia, won the Criterium International, coupled with a top 5 in Paris-Nice, as well as the Tour of the Mediterranean. It would have been criminal of Riis to let Voigt go…
Maybe It WOULD Have Been Better To Just Chill
Lance Armstrong’s actions in Stage 18, in which he pounced on Fillipo Simeoni, did not go unnoticed the world over, including the infamous Italian carabinieri. It seems that the officials involved in the investigation in Firenze suspect that Lance Armstrong might have attempted to influence the star witness in the case against Italian wunder-doctor, Michele Ferrari.
Now, that would be hilarious if Armstrong was called in for questioning over a mid-race spat. Either way, this whole situation between the two riders feels a lot like class on a Sunday.
Heads Will Roll
Of course, since Jan Ullrich missed the podium for the first time in his career, the shit is about to hit the fan in the T-Mobile camp. Team director, Walter Godefroot is very displeased with Ullrich’s performance and has openly criticized the beleaguered monster of watts.
Ullrich noted after the TT, “Godefroot hasn’t approached me personally at this point (opting instead to criticize him in the press). We will talk about it soon.” Ullrich’s coach/confidant/friend/former manager Rudy Pevenage sounded a bit pessimistic and doesn’t know how the proceedings will unfold either.
In the pulication, Figaro, Godefroot openly lashed out at Ullrich saying, “Talent alone doesn’t do the job…The professionalism of Erik Zabel and the talent of Ullrich together would make an Eddy Merckx.” He noted as well that Ullrich lacks that certain twinkle in the eye, that how do you say, killer instinct? Ridiculous. Did he miss that face on Plateau de Beille? Good lord. He might be an unconfirmed talent of sorts, but Ullrich just happened to be unlucky enough to run into the reign of arguably the best Tour rider ever.
Godefroot continues, “After our discussions about winning the Tour, naturally we are not pleased with Ullrich’s performance, no matter what the reasons.”
Ullrich is not so keen on conceding wrong: “I am of course disappointed that I didn’t finish on the podium, but everyone was powerless against Armstrong and his team, even me. I struggled and battled everyday to the point of falling over. My sickness was first out of my legs in the Alps, and thus hindred me greatly in the Pyrenees. My preparation for the Tour was perfect.”
Some of the criticisms of Ullrich are a bit harsh, but his preparations couldn’t have been “perfect.”
Rudy Pevenage, as per the norm, was particularly vocal on the matter: “When Godefroot speaks of professionalism, I’m not sure how that is engendered through open criticism of a rider before the final big time trial. I don’t know how things will proceed from here. I only know that Jan can win a Tour de France with a team solidly behind him.”
This is almost as interesting as the Simeoni-Armstrong feud.
News from Italia provided by the man with the real connections, Duncan Steele. Cipo and Domina Vacanze have split. Santoni (ds) made the statement on TV so Dunc, being the wise sleuth, called him directly and the worst fears have been confirmed. Santoni, said that Cipo had no respect for his teammates and the sponsors, Santoni found himself in constant difficulties picking a team as Cipo wanted his way ( the reason why Scarponi didn’t ride the Giro) and Cipo didn’t want Simeoni in the TDF line up as Simeoni had admitted taking drugs while under Dr. Ferrari a few years ago (I bet Cipo wasn’t too upset with Armstrong’s actions in St. 18). When asked what Cipo will do he answered ” I hope he quits cycling as soon a possible”! The good news is that Domina have confirmed their Sponsorship, (impressive) as next year for the Giro a team will be constructed around Scarponi. Dunc also spoke to Cipo’s manager that refused to answer.
More depressing news. Where is the love? Isn’t cycling hard enough as it is? Ahh, it’s at least good for some interesting reading.
There you have it. This is my last report from Germany. I’m headed back to America now, so I won’t exactly be Euro-worthy anymore, just a wannabe. It has been a pleasure.
Jered Gruber —
www.jeredgruber.com, [email protected]