Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cycling Scandals and Gossip – it must be Tour time!


HomeOtherEditorialCycling Scandals and Gossip - it must be Tour time!

Before we go any further with the Cycling Scandals and Gossip, our apologies for the lack of words and pics on the National road race – the VeloVeritas team were all too busy with that ‘life stuff’ this week, sorry. However, we’ll run them post Tour; to help ease that PTSF – ‘Post Tour Stress Disorder.’

Congratulations to Ross Creber (Endura) on his U23 medal – he earned it.

Cycling Scandals and Gossip
Nice one Ross. Photo©Martin Williamson

Apologies too for the lack of ’50’ coverage, we couldn’t be in two places at once – and thanks to Jim Cusick for giving us the result thus;

“Carlos gave us all a doin’ today, he won with 1:50:50.

“Ray Wilson 1:52:59; me 1:53:55; Mark Atkinson 1:54:12.

“Strong wind and warm, suited Carlos!

“Tough shift!”

No wasted words there, thanks again, Jim – congratulations to Carlos and nice to see Mark’s name back in the frame.

Cycling Scandals and Gossip
Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers), Scottish 50 mile TT Champ. Photo©Martin Williamson
Cycling Scandals and Gossip
Ray Wilson, second. Photo©Ed Hood

* * *

And like the headline says, ‘it’s that time again.’

Cycling Scandals and Gossip
Paul Kimmage.

Yes, the Tour is upon us, even if you know nothing about bike racing you can tell when the Tour is about to start when the drugs stories begin popping up – and of course, Paul Kimmage re-appears.

His writing is good, his arguments well thought-out but it disappointments me that he completely ignores the ‘cross Worlds, the track Worlds, early season Classics, la Vuelta, late season Classics, the kermesses and most of the other things that make the sport so special and only appears when there’s the whiff of sulphur – or a glam Cav interview.

This year’s race is a belter, it’s not entirely new but old Floyd has ‘saved the best for last’ and gives us wild parties and strippers [so far, so good by me !] – but it takes a bit of a nose dive when we hear that Postal [allegedly] were selling Treks – 60 of them – to buy their ‘kit’. See the allegations in the Wall Street Journal.

Having said that, Viktor might chip in here and add that was the sensible thing to do with them, anyway.

I simply must get today’s New York Times.

It’s not funny but if I didn’t try to lighten the mood then I’d probably chuck this laptop out of the window.

* * *

And closer to home…

And please do not imagine that ‘drugs thing’ is confined to the top echelons of the sport; VeloVeritas is aware that at or about the time of the Jock Wadley road race, an English rider failed a test, the substances were EPO and steroids, we know his name and can tell you that there is zero doubt in our minds about his guilt.

Cycling Scandals and Gossip
The sprint for second at the Jock Wadley race. Photo© Mark Cozens / British Cycling.

VeloVeritas read with interest the two page article which appeared recently in Cycling Weekly about ‘tough measures’ against dopers.

We wrote to UKAD to ask when the results of positive test recorded at the Wadley might be made public, we received the usual ‘these things take time’ kind of a reply.

And now the Tour is started, Landis has deployed thermo-nuclear weapons and the result of a drugs test at an early season English race is irrelevant, buried, forgotten.

Take it from us that if that test result is never released – as looks increasingly likely – there’s been a cover-up, justified by the facts that the Olympic and Commonwealth Games are just around the corner and there’s enough drugs grief with the Landis/Lance scandal.

We have also had strong tip-offs that another rider failed a test at or about the time of the Rutland, we don’t have a name but we have suspicions – again, we believe that it will never see the light of day.

If this kind of mentality exists at the top then the problem will never be eradicated – people are people, they will always cheat, not just in cycling but in all aspects of life, it doesn’t mean that all of society is rotten, just like one or two drug cheats doesn’t mean the whole of our sport is rotten, it’s just life, weed them out and move forward.

Brushing it under the carpet is not the answer.

But let’s rejoice in the fact that for the next three weeks, there’s only one thing that matters – Tommy Simpson gave his life for it, Floyd sold his soul to the Devil for it, it damn near broke Hennie Kuiper’s heart, and Lance can’t live without it.

Cycling Scandals and Gossip
Eventual British Champs winner Geraint sits in fourth place. We look forward to seeing him in his new jersey at the Tour.

The time trials are faster, the sprints crazier, the mountains aren’t just high ground, they’re places of worship and legend.

There’s too much control, too much commercialisation, too many ‘janitors’ and too many riders, the riders are divorced from their fans and ‘it’s not like it used to be.’

But is it still the greatest bike race that’s ever been?

Damn right!