September 25, 2006
With the Floyd Landis watch in full swing, an important date came and went. Have you guessed yet? Well here it is. Tyler Hamilton’s ban ended on Friday September 22nd. Tyler had stated all along that he wanted to enter the World Championships Road Race on Sunday but he was quietly told by USA cycling that given the recent Operation Puerto cloud, he is persona non grata in the pro peloton. He needs to wait it out on the sidelines with Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and the others who have been suspended by their respective teams.
So, now what? well, according to a quote in Velonews. USA Cycling spokesman Andy Lee states
“He can race in USA Cycling-sanctioned events as of tomorrow, until USADA makes some sort of finding in the Puerto case, he can resume racing in the meantime.”
Right now, Tyler has no contract. He does, however have a standing offer to race in Nashville. Thanks Nashville Cyclist.
September 25, 2006
Erik Zabel finished second again on Sunday. This was probably his last real shot at wearing the rainbow jersey. I feel for him. No one works harder for longer than Erik. You see him pushing from February until October. It seems this guy never takes a break!
When I see riders like Erik, my second thought is usually for his family. We watched his son grow up on the podium when Erik was a staple in the green jersey. Sure he gets paid a fair amount but at what cost? How many days is he on the road? How many days does he hold his son on his shoulders in the back yard?
Therefore, when I read this, I nearly dropped out of my chair.
“I had the dream of becoming World Champion, and promised my son: If I get the title, then it’s your turn. I will have more time for you. I couldn’t have imagined to keep on riding. But now I will fulfil my contract through 2008″
Erik! I hope those are just words of a frustrated man immediatly post race. I also hope your son did not see/hear these words for the first time from the sports section of the local paper.
Call him. Now.