I should put a disclaimer on this post, explaining how I'm in a terrible mood and I am only going on what I saw of the stage while at work (and without sound), but I don't care. The only thing good about this stage was that Sylvain was in the break, and I got to see almost none of it and then he didn't win. So, if you think you can tell that I'm bitter, you're probably right. Because I really am. I know I talk about how unfair cycling is and today was a huge demonstration of that fact. I've said previously that no cyclist deserves to win -- but there are cyclists who deserve not to win. And today's stage was one of those days.
Vinokourov did not deserve to win. In fact, he shouldn't even been racing. He never confessed to doping, just served his fine and came back and did exactly what he did before he was banned. If you try to tell me I should respect him, I'm sorry, it's just not going to work. Vinokourov is a disgrace to the sport and every time I see him, I cannot help but wish him ill will. I know that makes me a bad person and a bad fan, but I just can't be bothered to care about it. I used to like him, you know. He was close to being a favorite, without being one. He was a good cyclist and I was a very, very naive fan. He destroyed my faith in clean cycling -- and I should probably thank him for that. Because without him, I'd probably still be one of those silly fans who thinks that there are clean cyclists out there (lies).
But that doesn't mean I should like him anymore and I don't. Every time he wins a stage, it makes me sick. And this is the worst. He never should've been allowed to race again, much less in the Tour. Though I suppose he fits right in, because it's as though he never quit racing for two years (hmm, I wonder why -- oh wait, no I don't). It's a huge fucking disgrace to see him win, to see him on the podium. There was a time in my life when I would've loved to see it, but that time has long since passed. Instead, I will sit here and be disgusted that not a damn thing has changed in this sport and I will accept the idea that it never will.
What else can I say about the stage? I won't know, I only saw the last 45k and I cannot bring myself to care about it. Perhaps I could talk about the beautiful scenery that Sylvain road by in the few moments that I got to see him in the break. I could talk about how shitty it is to have lead out trains and how I hate them. I could discuss the fact that Mark Cavendish getting second in the stage is also a disgrace to the Tour. Or I could be ridiculously upset about Robbie McEwen had a terrible day and came in seven minutes back (thought I see now that at least he wasn't 12 minutes back, thank god).
I said on Twitter that today was the worst stage ever and I stand by that. I wish I would have been able to watch it with sound, perhaps my hatred of Vino would've been tempered by commentators (but probably not). But as it was, I had to deal with folks on twitter vomiting their admiration for Vino. It's disgusting, to be honest. Almost as much as the blind faith that people have in Armstrong (believing all the lies he spews forth). I wish this stage had been different, I wish the result would've been better. I wish people could accept that cyclists dope and lie and that no punishment seems to work. I wish dopers would apologize, even if they come back and dope again (which they do). But instead, I'm treated to stages like Stage 13, where cheating wins. I really wish I could have appreciated this stage, but I didn't.
After leaving this for several hours, I have skimmed the post and I pretty much agree with everything I said earlier. I'm not as hostile as I was, but this stage was terrible and I can't write 12 million super long paragraphs ever stage, so this is what you get. I hope to god tomorrow's better.