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With Friends Like These...

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Today the 17 other Pro Tour teams have unanimously decided to throw Phonak and Astana under the bus. In Cycling's latest due-process-free conviction, the teams have declared that Astana's clearance of wrongdoing and Phonak's elimination of Floyd Landis have nonetheless so stained the sport that they should be barred from racing immediately.

It's unclear that this declaration is anything more than hot air; the AIGCP isn't exactly in charge of who gets to ride. Two quick impressions: this is a total panic move by a sport that might be worrying about mass defections in sponsors... rightly so. But it's also a gutless move by the 17 other teams, whose riders should suck it up and weather the coming sponsorship crisis together, when you consider that at this point the remaining Astana and Phonak riders are no more guilty of doping than the rest of the Peloton. They all made this bed, there is no cause to make 10% of them lie alone in it.

Curious timing too, given Kashechkin's form and Vinokourov's fresh legs...