In which I write about bike racing. And stuff.
It’s been a slightly odd week in the world of bike racing, what with the arrest warrants and the dope dealing and the peeing. Joe Papp is allegedly a dope dealer. And not just a kinda sorta maybe a little selling on the side dope dealer, but a $80,000 a year dope dealer. Allegedly. At the same time as Papp was making the redemption rounds or whatever it was he was doing with all those interviews, he continued to sell EPO and HGH, two acronyms that mean all kinds of trouble. Can you believe that shit? That’s $80,000 to 180 clients, many, if not most, of them believed to be cyclists, like Kayle Leogrande who helpfully posed for a photo with Papp and a vial of EPO. For real? It all seems just a bit farcical when it comes right down to it. Well, the Feds certainly aren’t amused and have charged Papp with conspiracy to sell, and a few other things. He pleaded guilty. Penalties are in the range of 5 Years in the Federal Pen and fines of $250,000. Maybe Leogrande will drop by for a visit.
On the subject of courts and such, a French judge issued warrants for the arrest of Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker for their alleged involvement in the hacking of the LLND computers. Apparently, Baker and Landis paid a hacker to obtain documents from the LLND pertaining to the case against Landis. Again, I ask, for real? Yes, apparently for real. Contrary to early reports on the story, the arrest warrant only applies on French soil and the French authorities have not requested extradition or anything of that sort. But certainly this story adds an odd postscript to l’affair Landis and more than a shadow of doubt to the credibility of the various tall tales that have emanated from the Landis camp since that fateful day in 2006. Be careful where you put your mouse.
In other Landis-related news, and really, could this be the end of the Landis-related news for a while? The dude’s had way more than his 15 minutes of infamy. Anyway, Rock Racing is dead. The UCI today announced the list of Continental teams, which number 122, and Rock Racing did not make the list. Oopsy. Perhaps the UCI did not approve of Rock’s tendency toward non-payment of salaries and the sleight-of-hand that bumped several riders from the Professional team onto an amateur version of the team. Shady, that scene. Anyway, the team has no license. No license, no bike race. No word yet on what will happen to the riders who have contracts with the team for the coming season, which reportedly included Landis.
To pee or not to pee, that is the question. Apparently, inside the final 50 kilometers, it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of a full bladder than to stop for a nature break. So learned the young Edvald Boasson-Hagen this week during the Tour of Oman. Boasson-Hagen stopped for a pee, only to have the race leave without him, which posed something of a problem since he wore the leader’s jersey at the time. Wait, stop them! I must catch them! I am their leader! He may have said something to that effect. Or maybe he didn’t.
After the race, a cat fight broke out over who made the fatal attack that left the race leader by the side of the road. Also, team Sky apparently did not defend the jersey to the satisfaction of some observers. It must be spring, with all that caterwauling going on outside my window. Cervélo attacked. No, it was Columbia. Sky wasn’t defending the race lead. I was misquoted. No you weren’t, we have tape. Nyah, nyah, nyah.
It’s just really good to know that everyone wants to win the bike race. Perhaps next time at 50 kilometers to go, the entire bunch can pull over by the side of the road, join hands, and sing a rousing verse of Kumbayah. Then, have a joint pee. Far be if for me to reduce this complicated sport to winners and losers, but last I checked, the goal is to get to the finish first. First year pro Leigh Howard of HTC-Columbia won the sprint. Boasson-Hagen, meanwhile, suffered the whips and scorns of time, and lost the leader’s jersey to Daniele Bennati.
On the subject of bike races, RadioShack did not receive an invite to the Italian stage race, Tirreno-Adriatico. The team will ride the three-day Ronde van West-Vlaanderen instead. The non-invite comes following the decision of RadioShack to shun the Giro d’Italia in favor of the upstart Tour of California. The RCS organizes both races and decided to return the shunning. Meow.
All I know is that Tirreno has the coolest race poster in the history of the world. Like, they are so totally getting barrelled right there.
That’s all the Sesh I have for you just now. I promise to show up again and we’ll do it some more. Are we all counting down to Omloop het whatsitcalled? Yes. I do believe I’m counting. Bike racing!