A team bus named Astana

October 12, 2006



I have to tell you.  While I’ve not been the biggest Alexandre Vinokourov fan, I really feel for the guy.  How many riders lost their sponsor, lost their spot in the Tour de France, single handedly got a new sponsor, regained his team’s spot, lost it again, and now…..

What will happen to Astana and Vino when Pat McQaid and Manolo Saiz square off?  Saiz is holding two aces.  One being Astana’s license.  Two being the contracts of Vino and his squad.  If McQuaid is successful in getting the license, what then?


The likelihood of winning a multi-front war

October 12, 2006

History is full of great lessons. One of those is that when you fight a war on multiple fronts, you risk of losing increases dramatically. Well, Pat McQuaid has opened many fronts and he risks losing significant battles as he fights all foes real and imaginary.

I have said before that Operation Puerto and trial by media may actually hurt the UCI’s war on doping. That was before I began to question weather the real objective was a clean sport.

It seems that Pat has a real front in the war on doping yet he may be too weak from all his other skirmishes to win this one. It seems that Manolo Saiz may walk away clean from Operation Puerto. Yes, I know he was caught with 60,000 euros and cache of drugs. I also know he was linked at the hip with Dr. Eufemaino Fuentes. But these things may not be illegal. There is no sport doping law in Spain.

So where is the front drawn? Well, Saiz owns ActiveBay with partner Pablo Anton. That company stills holds the ProTour license for Astana and the contracts of the riders including Alexandre Vinokourov. Attempts to buy the license have been unsuccessful. VeloNews quotes Anton:

” We’ll burn the team buses and cars before letting go of the ProTour License!”

Sounds like Pat has his work cut out for him.