The VV View: To Team Sky; “if in hole, stop digging”(Comments Off on The VV View: To Team Sky; “if in hole, stop digging”)
It’s that time again when I go from being that old weirdo who’s always going to bike races no one has heard of to the ‘go to guy’ (I do hate that expression) – yeah, you’ve guessed; ‘Brailsford, corticosteroids, package, Sky, Wiggo’…
I’ve lived through all the doping scandals; Festina, Riis, Pantani, Lance, Tyler, Floyd and the fact is that just like that 1976 disco classic by Bugatti and Musker contends, ‘Ain’t no Smoke Without Fire.’ The pattern is always the same, revelation, vehement denial, steady drip of more damning facts and finally there’s a tearful confession or a ‘guilty’ verdict.
Can you remember one ‘doping scandal’ which ended with vindication and media apologies? Me neither.Full Story»
“A Team Sky spokesman said they remained fully behind their team principal (Sir David) despite the claims in the Daily Mail and his admission to the select committee on Monday that he had made mistakes.”
If you’re a soccer aficionado you’ll know that if Sky was a football team Sir Dave would be out by Tuesday after a message of support like that from the Board. But word is that if Dave goes then Sky pulls the plug.
And by the way, did you see Sir Brad’s ‘coming out’ as a Scotsman on Instagram, complete with ‘Braveheart’ face paint?
Honestly, we think that Jason Kenny is a great sprinter – he can go short, long and is tactically very sharp. He’s not six times Olympic Champion across three disciplines because he’s a dud.
We also think that if he got himself off to Aguascalientes then Monsieur Pervis’ 2013 world 200 and 1000 metre records of 9.347 and 56.303 respectively would be in jeopardy; not to mention Chris Hoy’s 2007 standard of 24.758 for 500 metres. But how can he be a professional?
It wasn’t just Vik and I who thought the Gent Six Day finale was a tad too obvious to be true – “a Fairtytale” Cycling Weekly said, they got that right – we’ve had feedback from two men who were there.
Our man who lives in Gent said; “It was without a doubt the most historic Gent Six I’ve attended and I don’t think we’ll see another in our lifetime ( I did say 10 years ago or so that there will never be a British winner of the Tour – what do I know). It was however the most blatantly fixed Six Day I’ve seen.”
Sir Brad wasn’t even off his bike when the phone rang; “Are you watching this? Isn’t it heartwarming, nostalgic? I’m almost in tears …” Yes, friend and sage of VeloVeritas, Vik had just watched the finale of the Gent Six Day on the box – so did I; for the first time in years I wasn’t there – that ‘real life’ stuff got in the way.
And last week’s Cycling Weekly brought us ’12 things you didn’t know about Jason and Laura Kenny’ – to push their new book (that one I said Vik has pre-ordered the other week): “Jason once ate four out-of-date yoghurts, despite not being hungry. And not liking yoghurt.”
Enough said, I think.
The VV View: Snakes and Ladders(Comments Off)
Snakes and Ladders; Let’s be positive and start with the guys on the way up; 17 year-old Englishman Thomas Pidcock for instance, who won the European Junior Cyclo-Cross Championship in France recently. He’s now one of the favourites for the Worlds in Luxembourg come late January; he was fifth in the Worlds last year and is a year wiser and stronger.
But if there are ladders then there are snakes, too. It’s over Matt Goss; he won a World Team Pursuit Title, Grand Tour Stages, a Worlds Elite Road race Silver, Plouay and – The Primavera. That last result means he’s a Legend.
‘Why do you rant about cycling?’ they ask us. ‘Because someone has to!’ we reply. There has to be a voice in the wilderness …
Did you watch the Worlds? Dave, Ivan and Vik all boycotted it – although they admitted to watching the finale. The Belgian offensive in the desert would have done Field Marshal Erwin Rommel proud – but apart from that and Sagan’s killer finale the race was processional.
Sometimes it’s strange how something you’ve never heard of in your life until recently starts coming at you from different directions – I was discussing a mutual acquaintance’s drugs problems with a friend when he mentioned ‘Tramadol’ – my ears pricked up…
VeloVeritas resident prophet and Guru, Viktor is in Spain just now. His old bones can’t handle the Scottish weather these days – a nice wee apartment in Benidorm.
There’s a Belgian and a Dutch bar, both within crawling distance and both with big TV’s permatuned to sport, often bike racing. He has his bike out there and is about as happy as Vik ever gets. I rang him the other day to ask if he’d seen Etixx-QuickStep’s beautiful ride to win the Worlds TTT…
The VV View: Sky, Wiggins and the TUE Grey Area(Comments Off)
TUE’s – once again I’m reminded of Elton John’s words; ‘and all this science I don’t understand…’
The forums are ablaze with righteous indignation from carpet fitters and bike shop mechanics, all of whom are well versed in conditions which affect an athlete’s breathing and the treatment of any ailments related thereto.
Me? I’m a glazier originally and I can’t remember Prednisolone ever cropping up once during my ‘apprenticeship.’
The VV View – Laura Trott and an Olympi-rant!(Comments Off)
It’s all clear to me now, Lady Laura explained it:
“The Worlds are irrelevant, all that matters are The Olympics.”
So those riders who win the world individual pursuit championships and world kilometre title are just wasting their time, horsing around?
I’m glad we’ve clarified that – and there was me hero worshipping Hughie Porter for 45 years for nothing …
Lizzie Armitstead’s (Three) Two Strikes for Missed Tests(Comments Off)
“She’s at it, they all are! And you know she’s at it!” The reaction of a friend of mine when I explained the basics of the Lizzie Armistead case to him – he’s no right-wing balm pot, on the contrary he’s a working class former international sportsman who’s represented Scotland at the highest level.
Perhaps if it hadn’t been for Lance feeling sorry for the doubters; Tyler and his phantom twin; Floyd and all that Jack Daniels; Bert and his steak and all the rest he wouldn’t feel that way?
Greipel had just blasted the field to win his first Giro stage the day before; surely there’d be a good write up in the Guardian? I guess he got around 100 words?
I used to get more of a word allowance to write up races for “The Comic” [Cycling Weekly] back when Scottish racing got a bit of coverage. Meanwhile said Comic and British Cycling continue to tell us that cycling is now mainstream…
Buoyed by the great reception our piece on Shane Sutton received – Darryl Webster branded it; “utter garbage” – we thought we’d fire off a few more opinions on what’s been happening recently in our ‘King of Sports.’
Sky finally got their Monument, not from a ‘Brit’ though; Lowlands hard man Wout Poels was first into that most unglamorous of Monument finishes – the retail park in Ans.
The VV View: The Sutton Saga(Comments Off)
The ‘Sutton Saga’ has me yet again scratching my head about cycle sport and this nation’s attitude towards it.
Great rides by Ben Swift and Steve Cummings get hardly a mention but Saturday’s Guardian sports section screams; “The Sutton Saga: 10 questions after a week of crisis.”
There’s one question missing though – ‘in a week’s time, who’ll give a rat’s backside?’
The VV View: Recovery Ramblings from the Sofa(Comments Off)
There’s never a good time to be in hospital but Grand Tour times apart, the start of March isn’t bad with cycling printed matter and video footage aplenty readily available.