Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Contador Worthy?

From the left, that's 43rd Tooth (Aaron Mimran), Tour of '03 (me, Steve Klein), my good buddy Mike Armellino and Chris Grengs on the Champs Elysees on the final day of the 2003 Tour.

Here's the question that must be going through the minds of quite a few cycling fans today on the final stage of this most controversial Tour de France.

I know it's been going through mine.

Should the eventual winner, almost certainly Alberto Contador of the Discovery Channel team, be judged a fair and legitimate winner in light of Michael Rasmussen's dismissal by his Rabobank team four stages shy of the top of the podium?

Is Contador worthy?

Contador did not wear the yellow jersey the first day after Rasmussen was booted for lying (for an absolutely superb story on the web of Chicken's lies, be sure to read William Fotheringham's account in the Observer). He didn't smile much until the first day he did wear the Maillot Jaune.

If you're a cyclist, the color yellow holds special meaning. I'm a decent cyclist, but I am highly reluctant to wear anything yellow (and a friend did give me a replica yellow jersey a couple years ago) while riding my bike or even to spinning class at the gym!

I did wear a throwback yellow jersey on the final day of the 2003 Tour (the 100th year anniversary of the event) when our Trek Travel group was part of the 10,000 riders who were permitted to ride the final loop of the Paris stage before the race.

All cyclists hold the Maillot Jaune in the highest regard.
Especially the cheaters, obviously.

So, is Alberto Contador a fair and legitimate winner?
He is legitimate if he won fairly. Hopefully, we will not learn anything to lead us to think otherwise.

Our experience with Bad Boy Floyd this past year was painful enough. This was the year cycling was supposed to redeem itself. Redemption remains in professional cycling's future, however.

But for now, I will put my cynicism aside and enjoy this final day of the Tour.
I will enjoy watching Alberto Contador wear the Maillot Jaune.
I hope you can, too.

Lots of good reading today:
-- Will time bonuses make a difference in today's stage with only 31 seconds separating the top three cyclists? Neal Rogers of VeloNews has a terrific story and comments from the leaders.
-- Rogers also writes about Our Boy Lance's day at the Tour:
Riding shotgun: Armstrong has front-row view of Contador's ride
-- Edward Wyatt of the NYTimes: Leipheimer wins Trial; Contador nears title
Contador, Wyatt writes, made this pledge to his fans after missing last year's Tour:

“I will continue working, possibly with even more devotion — if that’s possible — to make you experience this beautiful sport and to hear you say once again that you believe in it and in me. And because I believe in a clean sport, as I have practiced it, we will collect the result of our efforts in a few years.”

-- More Wyatt: Contador, a young Spaniard, riding with the wisdom of age
-- Juliet Macur of the NYTimes on Puzzle of the Teflon Peleton:
Risk, Reward and Ridicle
-- Nick Townsend of the Independent: Danish pastry is the ultimate dope in Tour de farce
-- AP: Vinokourov's 'B' sample confirms positive result for banned blood transfusion
-- Michael Hiltzik of the LATimes: Vinokourov to fight blood doping charge
-- Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe: Doping scandal turning race into 'Tour de Farce'
-- Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News: The Tour is no more; scandals have killed this race

5 comments:

53rd Tooth said...

Ahhh, the sport seemed so "innocent" then.

Granny's 30 said...

more like we were so innocent then...or naive if we're getting into semantics.

53rd Tooth said...

Yup.

Tour of '03 said...

But boy did we have fun!

53rd Tooth said...

No question about it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Is Contador Worthy?

From the left, that's 43rd Tooth (Aaron Mimran), Tour of '03 (me, Steve Klein), my good buddy Mike Armellino and Chris Grengs on the Champs Elysees on the final day of the 2003 Tour.

Here's the question that must be going through the minds of quite a few cycling fans today on the final stage of this most controversial Tour de France.

I know it's been going through mine.

Should the eventual winner, almost certainly Alberto Contador of the Discovery Channel team, be judged a fair and legitimate winner in light of Michael Rasmussen's dismissal by his Rabobank team four stages shy of the top of the podium?

Is Contador worthy?

Contador did not wear the yellow jersey the first day after Rasmussen was booted for lying (for an absolutely superb story on the web of Chicken's lies, be sure to read William Fotheringham's account in the Observer). He didn't smile much until the first day he did wear the Maillot Jaune.

If you're a cyclist, the color yellow holds special meaning. I'm a decent cyclist, but I am highly reluctant to wear anything yellow (and a friend did give me a replica yellow jersey a couple years ago) while riding my bike or even to spinning class at the gym!

I did wear a throwback yellow jersey on the final day of the 2003 Tour (the 100th year anniversary of the event) when our Trek Travel group was part of the 10,000 riders who were permitted to ride the final loop of the Paris stage before the race.

All cyclists hold the Maillot Jaune in the highest regard.
Especially the cheaters, obviously.

So, is Alberto Contador a fair and legitimate winner?
He is legitimate if he won fairly. Hopefully, we will not learn anything to lead us to think otherwise.

Our experience with Bad Boy Floyd this past year was painful enough. This was the year cycling was supposed to redeem itself. Redemption remains in professional cycling's future, however.

But for now, I will put my cynicism aside and enjoy this final day of the Tour.
I will enjoy watching Alberto Contador wear the Maillot Jaune.
I hope you can, too.

Lots of good reading today:
-- Will time bonuses make a difference in today's stage with only 31 seconds separating the top three cyclists? Neal Rogers of VeloNews has a terrific story and comments from the leaders.
-- Rogers also writes about Our Boy Lance's day at the Tour:
Riding shotgun: Armstrong has front-row view of Contador's ride
-- Edward Wyatt of the NYTimes: Leipheimer wins Trial; Contador nears title
Contador, Wyatt writes, made this pledge to his fans after missing last year's Tour:

“I will continue working, possibly with even more devotion — if that’s possible — to make you experience this beautiful sport and to hear you say once again that you believe in it and in me. And because I believe in a clean sport, as I have practiced it, we will collect the result of our efforts in a few years.”

-- More Wyatt: Contador, a young Spaniard, riding with the wisdom of age
-- Juliet Macur of the NYTimes on Puzzle of the Teflon Peleton:
Risk, Reward and Ridicle
-- Nick Townsend of the Independent: Danish pastry is the ultimate dope in Tour de farce
-- AP: Vinokourov's 'B' sample confirms positive result for banned blood transfusion
-- Michael Hiltzik of the LATimes: Vinokourov to fight blood doping charge
-- Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe: Doping scandal turning race into 'Tour de Farce'
-- Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News: The Tour is no more; scandals have killed this race

5 comments:

53rd Tooth said...

Ahhh, the sport seemed so "innocent" then.

Granny's 30 said...

more like we were so innocent then...or naive if we're getting into semantics.

53rd Tooth said...

Yup.

Tour of '03 said...

But boy did we have fun!

53rd Tooth said...

No question about it.