There is a term from sailing that is very apt for yesterday. That term is “Clean Air.” Clean air is unimpeded wind that allows a boat to achieve maximum performance. One way to disrupt a boat’s air flow is another boat further upwind literally taking the wind out of the sails. Sailing strategy revolves around gaining clean air and depriving your opponent of the same.
That’s the way I felt yesterday. With the USADA withholding its decision, it allowed the full focus of the world on the prologue of the Tour de France. It did not disappoint.
I was told by members of the CSC staff to expect London to put on a show that may upstage the final stage in Paris. They were right. London was at its best. The weather was perfect and people turned out in droves. Finally, the competition was scintillating.
With Kloden posting what seemed to be an unbeatable time, World Champion Fabian Cancellara came out of the start house like a man possessed. Looking like he and/or his bike might not make it past the first 100 meters, Fabian charged out on course and never let up. As he approached the final kilometer, I was literally on the edge of my seat.
After the race, I thought that cycling received exactly what was needed. I then watched the horizon for the USADA boat depriving cycling of clean air to sail into this morning’s newspapers. The boat never arrived.
I know the announcement will come and come soon. Thankfully it did not come yesterday.