Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When can/should we believe cyclists?

After winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège last weekend for the second time, Vino called his victory "revenge."

Revenge for what? Revenge against whom?  And why is Vinokourov - who was pretty quiet during his two year suspension - so vocal now? Is this guilt speaking? Another cover-up?

All the news outlets have been all over his victory with headlines like "Vino's victory overshadowed by questions about his past" (Cycling News), "Vinokourov's Liege win leaves mixed emotions" (Cycling Weekly UK) and even the truly classy The New York Times published an article more about the doping controversy than Vino's race.

He's riding the same as a he did two years ago, aggressive, unforgiving and really f-ing hard. So how can we tell the difference between the clean Vino and the doped-up cyclist?

I get that both Bjarne Riis and David Millar have launched effective counters to their doping pasts that don't (completely) overshadow them every time they show up for a race. But Millar's never reached the individual success he had when he was doped to the gills. And like Vino, both men only admitted to doping/"mistakes of the past" AFTER it was clear that they had. 

So is that the price you pay for risking everything to end up with an asterisk next to your name in the history books?  I'd like to hear Vino respond to that. Because that asterisk seems like the best revenge against a doper. A little star saying that weren't strong enough to do it alone. You paid for your strength. You didn't have what it took.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep buying decorations like these cool Far and Near Housing Covers for my bike that aren't really necessary and don't make me fast but look really cool anyway.

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