The real cost of doping

August 31, 2006

Samuel Abt of the International Herald Tribune interviews a very candid Bobby Julich on the topic of doping. Bobby reveals how recent events such as Operation Puerto and Floyd Landis’ case affect the psyche of riders who are currently competing. Even stalwart anti-doping crusader Jens Voight expressed anything buy joy after winning the Time Trial in the recent D-Tour.

‘I don’t know if I should have won the time trial because now everyone will assume I’m doped.’

Should that be the first thought that is expressed in the privacy of the team bus with your roommate and good friend? With all that Jens has given to his sport, team and the fans over the years, I would have hoped that he took a minute to enjoy the fruits of a hard won and well deserved victory.

Bobby goes on to give his candid feelings towards Ivan Basso and the whole doping process.

“We lost our reputation as a team, and it gives people the excuse to say, ‘Oh, that’s why Bobby is riding so good the last two years, that’s why Jens Voigt is winning the Tour of Germany, and that’s why Franck Schleck is able to win a classic and the Tour stage into Alpe d’Huez – because they all change their blood. “

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Time to settle this once and for all

August 31, 2006

The knock on American cycling is that while we have produced the likes of Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong, we did not have the depth of the European countries. To prove the point, all they needed to do was point to the USPRO championships in Philadelphia. Our national championship needed to be part of an international race the Wachovia series. All of the other cycling nations (even France) had a national race where only riders from the home country. Then, if they wanted to really rub salt in the wound, they said two words. Guido Trenti.

Now we have our own championship race. I like the idea but don’t think I like the place on the calendar. This means Americans like Chris Horner and multiple winner Fred Rodriguez will not participate as they are hard at work for their team in the Vuelta. Also, having the race in June insured riders were at, or near top form. What does Labor Day mean?
I also miss the Philadelphia location. This is a selfish feeling as I was only an hour from the Start and enjoyed watching the race with my family. Since “Phillly Week” is a series of races in the suburban area during the week leading up to the big Sunday race, couldn’t you use one of the races in Lancaster or Reading to serve as the US championships? Most top riders are here having been at the Tour of Georgia. They also have their teams with them to race Phila. There was a definite drop off in the caliber of the ProTour squads since they were not riding for their US captains who also missed Philly week. I also noted a drop off in quality at the Tour of Georgia. I can’t say if that was related.

Enough complaining, let’s go!