July 24, 2007



In that case, would anybody participate ? Still, you're completely right.


Hi Mark,

I just wanted to make sure you still had the same opinion? Particularly now that Rasmussen is out, and Contador signed an immunity deal, with his (positive) results locked away (google 'Operacion Puerto').



Unchanged. Dirty riders should be banned, clean ones should stay and compete. Rasmussen should never have been allowed to start the Tour, and if what you say about Contador is true (though you'll need to provide some evidence), ditto.


On Contador, from Velonews:

Contador also elaborated on why his name appeared last year on the infamous Puerto list. His name was among five Astana riders who were alleged to be linked to the Operación Puerto investigation last year in Spain.

Contador was among nine riders from five teams who were not allowed to start last year's Tour de France.

"I was on the wrong team at the wrong time. My name was on this infamous list, but one week later, the UCI had more time to examine the documents and I was taken off. My relation with Puerto was annulled," Contador said. "I was cleared of any link with the scandal."

Sorry, I find zero about any immunity deal. Do you have proof or just some understandable cynicism?


Hey Mark,

Didn't see this till now. I'm looking for it as I type...well, a little after I type.



Well, it looks like I made a mistake, though I am going by hearsay (a mistake, of course):


Also today, a German newspaper has brought a story about Contador being involved in Operacion Puerto, but under what resembles a plea bargain, "Document #31" which implicates him was sealed in exchange for his testimony against Dr. Fuentes and other clients. It was a dosage chart which said "A.C. nothing or same dosage as J.J."

Contador is one of the riders Jorg Jaksche (the likely "J.J.") ratted out last month - they both rode on Liberty Seguros who was excluded from the Tour last year. Contador was among the riders later "cleared" and I guess we now know why. If the report is true.


What's really interesting to me, of course, is that the Rides We Remember---Floyd's epic ride last year, Vino's insane time trial...both ended up being drug aided. And yet Lance was able to routinely (except maybe the last couple of tours, when DSC was so strong it didn't matter) to deliver big rides like Landis and Vino's.

One more link:

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."