Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17, Stage 13: Rodez - Revel 196km

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.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand the desire many fans and commentators have to see athletes confess to (or apologize for) doping after conviction and suspension. Having to confess to something you have already been convicted of is little different from a blank paper confession.

Sarah said...

It's not so much the confession itself, we know he's guilty. But it's the refusal to admit that he did anything wrong. But instead, Vino basically pretended nothing was wrong and that's insulting to my intelligence. We all know he did it, we all know he still does it. Why shouldn't he suffer the loss of pride and confess?

Anonymous said...

I'm not blaming you. But let's see if this fits a small logical test. Line up all the Tour de France winners from the yesteryears who are still alive. Almost all of them, I'm sure, took some sort of drug to win, if not, atleast finish the damn Tour de France. We know that even Eddy Merckx was popped for doping, yet he never publicly confessed, just served his sentence and moved on. You're saying that the Church of cycling fandom should stop cycling in its tracks and demand an apology from all of them, so fans could get rid of their hormonal issues with morality???!! PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

So the people who served their sanctions and are just out there to make a living are the problem, not the ones who live large, continually denying and lying about their past, harassing others, and make the Tour de France and all of cycling a living nightmare of a circus. Kudos. When did you start following cycling again? 1999?

Ed. Brurk said...

Going back to your archives, let's see...ah, 2004, you wrote about a doper :

"So. The men of the day for me? Richard Virenque and Thomas Voeckler. Why Richard? It's easy. Even though he attacked a few times, he, too, was dropped. He ended up in a small group with Thomas. What did he do? Attack? No. He talked to Thomas, he spent a lot of time -- more than he needed, more than he was ever obligated to do -- helping Thomas. He tried hard not to let Thomas lose too much time. And that, right there, that impressed me."

Virenque, by the way, to this day, denies doping intentionally (poor boy, he must not have known he was doping LOL )

But he still impresses you??!!


Sarah said...

Anon #1 & 2: I don't know how to say this more clearly -- I firmly believe that right now (2010) all those cyclists in the peloton are doping and anyone who tells you otherwise is stupid. I also believe that all those winners of yesteryear, as you so eloquently put it, have also doped. I don't want their apology, I don't care if they're sorry they did it! Please. Why should I care? Perhaps in the past I did, but if you've read my blog in chronological order, you'd notice that I've changed my opinions the more I've been a cycling fan. So, what do I want? I just want their confession. Because until those "heroes" confess, doping will continue to be a problem because cycling loves the world of denial. Granted, that's not the only reason, but it's a start. Plus, I fucking love the drama.

Ed: I'm not sure what your point is. 2004 was the first full year of pro cycling that I ever watched. I was naive and still drinking the Armstrong kool-aid to some degree, I'd just started this blog and so of course I had no idea what I was talking about. And, you know what? You can still admire cyclists when they dope. If I couldn't, there's no way in hell I could still be a cycling fan. Maybe you failed to notice this, but I used to be fans of Armstrong, Landis and Hamilton. I used to think that Armstrong rode clean, I used to think that Sylvain road clean. It's 2010, dude. No one rides clean, no one has. And, you know what? Just like when Virenque was racing, no one has the balls to confess. The Church of Cycling (Armstrong) makes sure of that. Don't you find it hard to be a cycling fan if you believe riders are clean?