I grew up being deeply in love with the Manic Street Preachers. I remember an interview with Richey and Nicky in which the former said words to the effect of:
“There no one you can believe in, no one you can trust. All your idols will betray you eventually.”
I try to remember that when cyclists I like deceive me. The reports that Alexandre Vinokourov had returned a non-negative blood test result for suspected homologous blood transfusion saddened me. Like David Millar I am a big fan of Vino. There was a presence about him that I loved. As I wrote in my last post, he was a rider I could feel empathy with – he had absolutely rubbish “jour sans” like the rest of us, he seemed fallible. All too fallible it would seem.
Whatever his reasons I would like to hear them. Given his usual taciturn demeanour, that’s about as likely to happen as me waking up tomorrow as a race-winning sprinter and graceful climber. Perhaps that other great non-talker, Jan Ullrich, will speak soon and put an end to the questions about his career as well. Boy do I know how to pick a rider!
Today’s events, culminating in Rasmussen’s expulsion from the Rabobank team and the Tour have left me drained. Tomorrow will be another long day of listening to the usual opinions from people with no interest in cycling about how it’s full of cheats and should be scrapped. It’s utter bilge in my opinion and totally ignorant of the wider picture in professional sport.
I think I might just go to bed and have a little grumble and a cry. It’s not right but if it means the sport changes for the better and has at last recognised what must be done, then it’ll all make sense eventually.