Sunday, October 10, 2010


--Lately Cavendish has been "Greipeling." That is, airing your dirty laundry. Apparently HTC Columbia hasn't offered him a new contract beyond 2011. He also says he hasn't received any bonuses or "goodwill" from the management for what he's achieved.

To his credit, he's the greatest sprinter in cycling, on his way to being the greatest sprinter ever. He should be raking in boatloads of cash for what he's done on the bike.

That being said, unlike some of the other sprinters, he has a SERIOUSLY devoted team. A team which HTC has to have been paying boatloads to provide (ie Hincapie, Renshaw, Eisel, et cetera). So, yes, he's been winning an insane amount, but like Cav always says he has an amazing team behind him, and that costs a lot.

Also, most of you will remember he was basically non-existent for the first half of the season. Why? Because he had cosmetic surgery to repair his front Paraguay. No joke. He tried training with open sores, it got infected, and he lost at least a month of training. Did he feel the need to pay back HTC Columbia for lack of early season results due to his own error in judgement? Not likely.

In the end, I'm always super supportive of Cav and love seeing him win. In this case though, I think he's better off keeping his mouth shut. I have no doubt that there are performance bonuses built into his contract. Are they big enough? Apparently not to Cav.

Here's the deal, though, you can't have your cake and eat it too. The management of HTC Columbia is so devoted to him winning it has hired the absolute best leadout in the world. This costs money. The bonuses? How about all the wins he wouldn't have without the team? Those are all "free" to him in that they wouldn't be there without his amazing support. HTC management pays for a team that allows him to win more than he would without it and on account of this, although we're taking Cav's word for it, he gets paid less than he "should."

OR he could keep "Greipeling" about pay, head to Team Sky where they'll pay him whatever, and get half the wins. But at the end of his career, or better yet, 20 years from now, the difference between what he's making at HTC Columbia and whatever he'd make elsewhere will be moot (having spent it on teeth jobs and Italian girlfriends). What won't be moot, is whether he won 20+ grand tour stages, his current amount, or 40+ which he could win if he stays with a solid team.

Looks like he's probably the reason he doesn't have a contract for 2011.

--Pozzato has responded to criticisms about his Worlds performance. Pippo says, "I can’t deny that I haven’t won much recently but nobody can say that I haven’t been consistent. If they do, they’re not being honest."

Touché. Not winning much recently does show signs of consistency, albeit consistently not winning.

I just wonder if he's regretting his Worlds preparation...

--In other news, the Contador (@acontador) case thickens. Kohl comes out again repeating the same thing he's said all along, that it's "not possible" to win the Tour without doping. To which, as pointed out by Boulder Report, Vaughters replied "Kohl could not finish in the top 10 of the Tour without doping, using his physiology.. Neither could I. Doesn't mean its true for everyone."

Vaughters has a good point with respect to Kohl's comments. But what really caught my eye was Kohl saying "I was tested 200 times during my career, and 100 times I had drugs in my body." How does that happen?

Another article was up on CyclingNews but has since been taken down (still up on Bike World News) has a source from Astana saying Contador used clenbuterol to lose weight at the Dauphine, took some blood out, then re-injected it during the Tour. I guess, given the article has been removed, there was something wrong with the "source."

It's also been claimed that Contador's blood had very high levels of plasticizers in his blood indicating a transfusion. It's unclear why they were using this test since apparently it's not sanctioned by WADA. However, it could be a real step forward for doping detection...or for blood transfusion bag makers to up their game.

David Walsh, author of From Lance to Landis continues to think the whole system is screwed. If you haven't read his book, it's worth a read. He talks about in the 90s you would have entire teams going off the front without attacking. They would just ride the other riders off their wheels. They also had to wake up in the middle of the night and ride on a trainer to keep their hearts from stopping.

Colo, a suspended ISD-Neri rider, believes the meat story because he tested positive for clenbuterol after racing in Mexico. He hired a biologist to investigate his positive and found that 18% of Mexican meat is treated with clenbuterol.

Contador's chef claimed the reason he used Spanish meat was because the "meat in France was awful." Given the meat had clenbuterol in it, if we believe the story, I'm not sure we can trust the cook's judgement on "good" meat.

I guess the real question is, given this year alone there were three riders busted for small amounts of clenbuterol (Li, Colo, and Contador--we'll assume for the sake of this, although I don't think it's a completely sound assumption, that the risk of detection in using clenbuterol is so much greater than the rewards, that the three from this year were due to food supply) why are these riders, or anyone for that matter, still eating meat? Ok, so we have no clue where it comes from, no clue what's in it AND there's a better than small chance it has a banned substance in it which if detected could end my career. Can I get seconds? [The other argument would be to have the UCI change the rules. I think the likelihood of this happening is quite small so until then, it's best to be pragmatic.]

Anyways, whatever the outcome, a Danish betting company is hedging its bets. The company is paying out to those who bet on Schleck winning the Tour.

--Next year's Tour of California route has been announced.

The first stage starts in South Lake Tahoe and ends in Northstar. The second stage starts in Squaw and ends in Sacramento. I'll definitely have to make a trip up for those two days.

This year's route skips all of the Bay area except for San Jose. I'll definitely miss the race coming through. Usually there are at least three stages within an hour of here. I think this may be an error in judgement considering the race is still budding and needs all the support it can get. However, I have no clue how much the cities in Tahoe are paying to have the race come through. I'm guessing it's pretty good for the resorts up there.

The stages down south look good with the Solvang TT and a mountain top finish on Mt. Baldy. I've never seen the Solvang TT but think it would be fun to see. The Mt. Baldy finish will also be really sweet. That being said, I might need to save some vacation for a trip out to Colorado to see the Quizno's Pro Challenge, or whatever they're calling it.

--For those of you with little ones, here's a cool post on how to teach a kid to ride a bike. I still remember the first time I rode a bike.

--Lasty, I have to have one of these Vino jerseys...

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