Archive for October 2009
The war of words between UCI President Patrick McQuaid and French Anti-Doping Agency head Pierre Boudry escalated Saturday.
They’ve decided to settle their disputes once and for all, in the wrestling ring. “”I’m sick of that whiney French guy, always complaining and turning up his nose. I’m gonna stomp on his face. ” said the red-faced McQuaid.
For his part, Boudry is hardly worried. “You can see he is flabby, a bureaucrat who sits on his hindquarters all day making pronouncements like he’s king. I am training already,” said Boudry.
The UCI president appeared to snap after the constant hounding by Boudry in the press. “Boudry thinks he’s some kind of intellectual, drinking his red wine, reading his French existentialist novels. I will break him in two,” said McQuaid.
Rumors are spreading fast that the under-card for the much-anticipated event will feature Anne Gripper, head of the UCI’s anti-doping team, taking on Alejandro Valverde. But at this moment, no details have been announced.
However, the wrestling promoters are already planning a tag team match between the embattled Spanish Cycling Federation and Italian Olympic COmmittee (CONI). Winner to decide Valverde’s doping ban.
Stay tuned for more developments.
Yesterday we were able to share some behind-the-scenes photos of the UCI Halloween party for all ProTour riders. Time and space prevented us from covering the whole photo shoot in one post but here is Part Two.
Master of Ceremonies Patrick McQuaid was dressed in his keystone cops costume. Plenty of treats were on hand and none were on the WADA’s list of banned substances. Except for a suspicious cake from Cera Lee.
Do we get a finder’s free, a VIP invitation to the race, free frites for life?
Organizers of the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem have extended the race an extra 50 kilometers and are apparently searching for more cobblestones.
Race director Hans De Clerq told Het Nieuwsblad that “We are still looking for another cobblestone stretch here and there.”
We say pave it and they will come. The well-respected firm e-cobblestone is ready to help with an impressive selection of granite cobbles, also known as “Dutch Block.”
New or reclaimed — for that nice ProTour Dutch classic effect — these cobbles are in inventory, ready to ship.
Truckload quantity is 850 sq. feet and these babies run from 6″ to 12″ in size, big enough to destroy bike rims, handlebars and rattle the bones of even the strongest riders.
Has Mr. De Clerq really done his due-diligence on the cobblestone question? A quick look at E-Bay turns up a number of exciting options, including antique cobbles at a fantasic 11 cents a pound. This could be the deal of the century for savvy cobblestone shoppers. Paris-Roubaix is already worried.
And why just drab, predictable grey? What’s wrong with a little dramatic Gent-Wevelgem flair? You want to make some noise on the UCI calendar? Earth-tone cobbles come in brown, red, taupe and buff. That’s right, big, buff chunks of ball-busting stone.
Twisted Spoke can see the rider quotes now: “I was okay on the Kemmelberg but I had trouble in the new multi-colored section.” Mr. De Clerq needs to work that Visa card. Gent-Wevelgem is about to stock up on quality cobbles.
We ran across this while scouring the internet for things of bike interest. It being two days before Halloween, it was our good fortune to stumble upon this amazing piece of sculpture from Jud Turner called Bio-cycle.
You’ll do better googling Skeleton bike. Either way it’s a master work and we’re excited to have made the discovery because Turner’s art is amazing. His gallery is a definitely worth a few long looks and now we know if the whole bamboo bike thing doesn’t work out we can always call Jud for a bone bike.
Is Trek working on a version for Lance Armstrong? Could be. Add a longhorn skull on the front and Lance in in business.
This is scary stuff.
The annual UCI Halloween costume party for all ProTour riders, hosted by none other that the always quotable president Patrick McQuaid.
Twisted Spoke was given a behind-the-scenes look as riders tried on their outfits for the invitation-only bash. Funny how all the costumes seemed to match the personalities.
This is Part One. Look for Part Two, tomorrow, my cycling ghouls.
We bring you an important non-news flash.
Nikolai Proskurin, a spokesman for the Kazakh Cycling Federation, says that two-time Tour de France winner will ride for Astana in 2010. A meaningless statement and certainly not news or fact. Although we are giving it thumbs up for humor.
It was more accurately a desire, a wish and desperate hope that Contador wouldn’t leave now that the UCI has cleared Contador to exit Astana “without notice or liability for damages.”
According the governing body of the sport, Astana no longer has a legal hold on the Spanish rider. And lawyers are about the only creatures who could force Contador to stay in the snakepit with Alexander Vinokourov. Alberto has a fondness for birds, but he’s not big on snakes, especially the vino-viper.
Everyone seems to understand the ruling but Mr. Proskurin. “Certain people, it is unclear who, have completely dreamed this up, but there has been no occasion on which he has made an official statement on this issue,” he said. Yes, the bozos are at it again.
Note to Federation: Your ship sank last week. Don’t bother looking for survivors.
This must be one of those black comedy situations that happen in the former Soviet Republic. The kind of thing that routinely occurs on the team we like to call Astanastan. A goof-ball kind of place where the paperwork never gets down, the checks always bounce and the kafka-speak goes on forever.
Does the bold, posturing statement from the Kazakh Cycling Federation carry any weight? Nope. Was it amusing in a clueless way that reminded us of low-level, bumbling communist bureaucrats from the 70’s? Yes.
Is Stefan Schumacher still on drugs? Has he been tested for moron-enhancing drugs?
Forget the EPO, what is he taking these days? Is he smoking rastafarian amounts of weed or Turkish hash — or maybe it’s cocaine, which would explain his wildly inflated sense of confidence.
Twisted Spoke suspects the man is deep into the hallucinogenic drugs. What else would explain the bewildering number of senseless appeals he’s launched. Know when to say when, buddy. Ride your bike, take up whittling, learn the saxophone, sign up for classes in pastry baking. You’re suspended for two years– do something better with your time.
Schumacher is going the Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton route and bankrupting himself with his never-ending legal wrangling. The latest being his plan (or crack pipe dream) of appealing the decision by a French court to uphold his two year ban in France.
This is a man who was busted for CERA-EPO in the 2008 Tour de France and Olympic Games. That’s the doping double play. He doesn’t have a lycra leg to stand on. His credibility is zero and his bank account is headed that way fast.
Next up, his November 4th appeal with the Court of Arbitration in Sport. You’d think he and Alejandro Valverde could get a group rate on lawyers, maybe invite Danilo di Luca and Mikel Astarlosa and old Gerolsteiner teammate Davide Rebellin to pitch in.
It appears that Schumacher insists on appealing every legal ruling out there. He doesn’t like test protocols, jurisdictions, judges, legal arguments, ethics or honesty and seems to be embarrassment-free.
Like many suspended riders without facts on their side, he played the conspiracy card, claiming he was a victim of a “French clique,” noting that Pierre Bordry, head of the French anti-doping agency (ALFD) had a “close relationship” to the court where he was formerly a judge.
Again, we return to the hallucinogenic drug theory. The man is on ecstasy: he thinks he can fly, he hears in colors, he believes his appeals will work and that no one is laughing.