Tour de France: Excitement and Heartbreak

News & Results

07/9/2013| 1 comment
by Neil Browne
Tour de France 2013: Team Sky Procycling's Christopher Froome Fotoreporter Sirotti

Tour de France: Excitement and Heartbreak

We're only a third completed and the grande boucle has already given us a roller coaster ride.

be misinterpreted by many of the armchair analysts out there. However, Brailsford does have a habit of throwing around the word “transparency,” so he’s going to have to expect some blow back when he keeps his cards close to his chest.

Speaking of blow back ... David Millar took to Twitter to defend Team Sky’s performance.

“Well, @TeamSky rode a perfect race, and for the record, I believe they are clean and they deserve respect and admiration for it.”

Continuing Millar wrote, “Just saying, because I don’t think they deserve to have mud thrown at them when they work so hard to do it right. It doesn’t seem fair.”

In theory a nice idea to tweet support, but the execution was all wrong. Complaining that people are suspicious of Froome’s performance which is directly because of riders like Millar himself. Honestly he needs to keep his head down and not make comments like that. He lost his opportunity to make statements like that when he stuck a needle full of EPO into his arm and then lied to everyone about it. He should be thankful he’s a member of a team that allowed him a chance for redemption. Coming to the defense of Sky, a team he isn’t a member of and with no idea what is going on behind closed doors, is naïve.

That said, I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and say I’m one-hundred percent sure Sky is dirty. While stage 8 showed an extraordinary Porte, stage 9 showed he paid the price for that effort as he lost almost 18 minutes to the stage winner Martin. I’ve been burned before and I now reserve the right to view amazing performances with both eyes open. Also, Sky has a large budget which allows them to take their training up a notch in regards to ordinary such as bringing extra coaches, motos, and chiefs to training camps. In Sky’s case the jury is still out.

And with the UCI presidential election a two horse race, Pat McQuaid is shaking hands and kissing babies in an attempt at re-election. Like his opponent Brian Cookson, McQuaid has also published his own manifesto about his attempts at cleaning up professional cycling while on the other hand telling reporters to not ask questions about doping. Omerta much?

McQuaid’s plans include clean cycling, equality in women’s cycling, modernization, and global development. This begs the question, why in the past eight years hasn’t he done this? I was never a Cookson fan solely because the British candidate wasn’t McQuaid, but change is due. Cookson could be part of a transitional change in leadership to help the sport.

Speaking of change in sport, nothing is going to change unless we remove some of the vestiges of that era. McQuaid is one of those. Race announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen are another. Like a prehensile tail, these two are relics of a bygone era. Both rode the coattails of Armstrong for financial gain. When it was obvious Armstrong was dirty, Liggett concocted a fanciful tale of

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kristenbauer's picture

"Stage 1 clusterf**k." Always a good time.