Today's cycling headline is a shocker. Floyd Landis is leaving the sport. The 35 yr old, former (and subsequently defrocked) Tour de France winner is calling it quits. Once touted as the successor to Saint Lance, Floyd fell from grace when artificial testosterone metabolites appeared in his urine. If only he had been a baseball player. There the whole event would have gone undetected but if not, at most it might have resulted in a symbolic slap on the cheek or kept him from induction into the Hall of Fame.
Football players are even better off. It is said they can get away with murder. All they need is to discard the old glove and don a new one to play golf. Not for Floyd though. He was never able to shake his stain, and even a new hip could not do the trick.
However what was most upsetting to the fans was Floyd's attempt to come clean. Although public disgrace is a well accepted practice for sinners, implicating others is no longer part of it. That is where many drew the line and called him a snitch.
And speaking of sinners, the Schlecks have already discarded their former friend Alberto Contador. In an interview with Cyclingnews, the LAY-o-par-Trek brothers ranked Ivan Basso as the top contender for the 2011 Tour de France. That comes almost a month before the Spanish cycling federation will do what everyone already knows they will do. Why bother going through the motions?
In related news, we heard Rasmussen returned and formed a team although he won't make the Tour this year (or maybe never). It is ironic that when Rasmussen beat Contador, he was removed, and now that Contador beat Schleck he has to go? Who's next? At that rate, Lance may yet get his eight victory he so strongly believed in. If everyone could just stop cheating for a year or so?
|Berkeley, Jan 17, 2011|
In other news we note that Spring is in the air. Some trees are apparently unaware of it yet, at least here in California, but others are budding or ready to bloom. The animals too are getting restless and starting to prance and practice their mating displays.
Cyclists too are digging out the photographs of last year's podiums; Others just use the FaceBook trick of tagging themselves in old pictures. Either way, we get flooded with new posts that show off (last year's) glory and say beware, unlike Floyd, we are coming back.
In America, where everyone is a current or former National Champion in one event or another; or a current or former member of one National Team or another, there is no shortage of starred material for those eager to impress.