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  1. #1
    Runner (Wannabe Rider)
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    Bummed Out By This Tour

    I find myself not caring very much who wins. Not because of the absence of Lance. It just doesn't matter if Floyd beats Evans, or if Popo went ahead and won the thing somehow. I'm going to watch every second, but without Jan or Basso, I just don't care. It's not the same.

    At this point, nobody really knows the truth about the doping. With such little public evidence, this type of banishment would never happen the week before the superbowl or world series. We would play it, and sort it out afterwords with the solid facts. I understand the problems with sponsorship in cycling, and how it is different, but I'm still disappointed that we were all robbed of a great tour. Also, if you have the goods to implicate these guys - then share it and I will be satisfied. But so far, it is all closed door. Would not, could not happen in the USA. The press wouldn't let these guys sleep without releasing some details.

  2. #2
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    Robbed of a great Tour? What are you talking about? This tour has been made better because of the removal of all the prior years' dominant forces. And how can you mourn the removal of riders who may possibly be cheats? Now the playing field is fairly level (well, as much as we can hope.) With Basso, Ullrich, Vino and Mancebo out, there exists better chances for the underdog team to get onto the podium or even take the GC. Personally, I'd rather see a race full of attacks by unknowns, constant fighting for the yellow jersey, and a dramatic backstory to the racing itself - which is exactly what we're getting in this year's race.

    As for evidence incriminating the riders, it looks like Ullrich has been pretty heavily implicated in the affair, Basso less so. Unfortunately, the UCI/ASO have been forced to adopt a hardliner stance in the past years and while I hate to see a charismatic rider like Ullrich get the boot in the final year of his career, at the same time, in all likelihood, he probably deserved it.
    Last edited by Doctor Who; 07-17-06 at 12:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    double post.
    Last edited by Doctor Who; 07-17-06 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Señor Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Who
    This tour has been made better because of the removal of all the prior years' dominant forces.
    +1

    I was afraid this year's tour was going to be a repeat of the past seven with the role of Postal/Discovery being played by CSC. With the top contenders gone, this tour is more exciting than I could have hoped for. We should ban the previous year's top 5 finishers every year.

  5. #5
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryE
    We should ban the previous year's top 5 finishers every year.
    Yeah!


    +1 on this tour being very entertaining. One thing that I like is that Denis Menchov is getting some good exposure to a wider audience, given that his Vuelta win last year was not celebrated properly due to doped up Heras hogging the spotlight.

    It's been an intriguing July, to say the least.

  6. #6
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryE
    +1

    I was afraid this year's tour was going to be a repeat of the past seven with the role of Postal/Discovery being played by CSC.
    You mean T-Mobile

  7. #7
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    Don't assume that Basso, Ullrich, and Vino would have ridden well this year. None of them has won the Tour in the past seven years and Basso and Ullrich both are notoriously inconsistent. The fact that someone finishes second in a "prime" year does not guarantee they will win in some future year. Poulidor was on the podium in Paris, finishing second or third year after year. But, he never finished first, and never wore the yellow jersey for a single day.

    Ullrich own team managers have said in public that there is NO doubt that Ullrich lied to them about his relationship with "Dr. Robert". You are feeling sorry for a criminal who cheats, attempts to steal the Tour, and then has the nerve to lie through his teeth to the folks who have invested millions of dollars in his career?

    If a guy steals a hundred bucks out of your house, in most states, he is facing up to life in prison. Ullrich attempted to steal a prize worth millions of dollars from those riders in the Tour who are clean and honest. He won't do a minute behind bars.

    I think there are more deserving objects of pity in this world.

  8. #8
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    I agree that this has been one of the most entertaining, suspenseful and fun tours in memory. I wish more TDFs had no clear favorites so that more riders would really battle it out.

    SB

  9. #9
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    From what the rumor mill has been churning, Ullrich and Sevilla are about to get sacked from T-Mob, and Bjarne Riis and Ivan Basso are having a row.

  10. #10
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    I guess I don't quite get some of the thinking on here. Why you would rather not have the best riders in the TdF is beyond me. I'm not going to bring up the OP affair, just simply saying that losing probably 5 of the top 10 riders may open up the race, but doesn't necessarily make it better. It still may not have been Ullrich, Basso, Mancebo or even Valverde who would have won, but I sure would have liked to see them battle it out with Landis, Menchov, Evans, etc.

    In fact, to me the race for GC is not quite as interesting as I see the possible winners are now very limited. I don't see Floyd getting beaten except possibly by Menchov or Evans. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

  11. #11
    Up on the Down Side CyLowe97's Avatar
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    .... and watching Lance pummel the field in 2004 or just ride with the lead bunch in 2005 was anything dramatic on the top of the GC? C'mon now.

    You have to go back to 2003 for the last drama at the top of the GC. Lance bonking. Lance crashing in the Pyranees. Ulle taking a tumble in the final TT.

    Every year is a different story and this year's is playing out with quite a bit of intrigue. What happens if Menchov attacks, or Floyd cracks, or T-Mobile can get Kloden closer? It seems many are just waiting for Floyd to be coronated. While I'd love to see that happen, there is a lot of potential drama in the next five days. Drink it in!

  12. #12
    Ride, baby...RIDE! High Cadence's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own opinions.

    Mine? Thanks for asking.

    I think this is the best tour in...oh....6 or 7 years now. It's nice NOT knowing that Lance already has won the race. It's nice NOT knowing that Disco will continue to dominate the rest of the race.

    It's nice knowing that I don't know, day to day, who will be in Yeller. I like that.

    Best tour in a long time, IMHO.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rufvelo's Avatar
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    This is an excellent Tour. Will be one of the best, just like the last seven(and four score) were.

    Only real reason you can and should be bummed about, is if the winner and/or other GC contenders are found to have doped after the event is over....and we have to go thru the process if re-assigning placings etc.

    Else, everything is fantastic right now!

  14. #14
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Don't assume that Basso, Ullrich, and Vino would have ridden well this year. None of them has won the Tour in the past seven years and Basso and Ullrich both are notoriously inconsistent.
    I agree with the rest of your post, but I think you'd be hard pressed to call Ulrich or Basso inconsistent in the tour, unless you compare them to Armstrong, which is like comparing HGH to EPO. Ulrich, other than Lance, has been the most consistant performer in the last 9 years and Basso has steadily improved each year.

    Of the three main riders who didn't get to ride this year, I think the greatest loss for spectators is Vino. He would have animated the race much more, win or lose. Thus far teams have been very formulamatic in their approach. The GC battle hasn't been quite as dull as with LA, but there hasn't been a lot of running over to the TV to watch an unexpected attack. Much more fun to watch if someone succeeds than to wait for someone to fail.

  15. #15
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I was dissapointed that we didn't get the Basso/Uhllrich duel. It was a classic matchup climber against time trialist, and it would have been fun to watch. But I was over that as soon as the prologue started. The TDF has always been, and always will be, bigger than any individual rider or riders. There have been some great days in this race, and the promise of more to come. And there's been mor eintersting developments, and odd quirks, than in a ll of last yeaar's tour.
    And I would agree that the major loss is Vino, who unfortunately got caught out by being on the wrong team at the wrong time, apparently through no fault of his own. Rules are rules but he caught a bad break

  16. #16
    Senior Member Trevor98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Who
    ...how can you mourn the removal of riders who may possibly be cheats? ...
    This is perhaps the most alarming post I have ever seen. The mere accusation of cheating should remove people from their livelihood? This attitude is reminiscent of the witch hunts of centuries past.
    -
    -trevor
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. (Robert J. Hanlon)

  17. #17
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor98
    This is perhaps the most alarming post I have ever seen. The mere accusation of cheating should remove people from their livelihood? This attitude is reminiscent of the witch hunts of centuries past.
    +1 I may be called naive and I realize that cycling sorely needs to be cleaned up, but somehow I would really feel that there was a serious injustice done should any of these men be found innocent, and an injustice to the innocent is far worse than the guilty getting off scot free...just my thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Brian
    “A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. ”

    ― Bruce Lee

  18. #18
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor98
    This is perhaps the most alarming post I have ever seen. The mere accusation of cheating should remove people from their livelihood? This attitude is reminiscent of the witch hunts of centuries past.
    Did the witches sign agreements with the International Witching Union that if they were under investigation they would be suspended? Hmm... don't think so.

    I wouldn't go jumping from a voluntarily signed agreement by all ProTour riders to the downfall of society just yet...

    DrPete

  19. #19
    Senior Member Trevor98's Avatar
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    How is the voluntary signing of anything relevant to my post?

    The voluntary signing of a statement years after the attempt to "clean up" sport begins is merely another tactic in that particular fight. Removing riders from this TdF is merely the latest incident in the ongoing fanatical fight against sport cheating. This particular incident is not that egregious, however, the morally absolutist view of the anti-doping agents is appalling and their actions, when taken as a whole, in pursuit of their morally absolutist goal is beyond the pale. Doping should be fought (for many reasons) but we should not lower our ethical standard to accomplish that end.
    -
    -trevor
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. (Robert J. Hanlon)

  20. #20
    Runner (Wannabe Rider)
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    This tour is exciting, but my original point is that it isn't really a tour without the true heads of state. I can get a lot of enjoyment out of a high school basketball game, and it may be a more exciting game that leads to a buzzer beater, but I would much rather watch lebron james and kobe bryant play. Sure, I want to see a great high school game, but I just don't care all that much who wins; whereas in the NBA game, I have a real interest in the outcome.

    Let me pose this additional question: Will the 2006 TDF winner be given the same respect as previous winners? (It's not fair to compare anyone to Lance I realize)

    maybe...but certainly not if the implicated riders are vindicated.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Trevor98's Avatar
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    I think that the winner will be viewed like Lance was in 1999 and 2000 (pre 2nd TdF win), a winner for sure but didn't really compete against the best as 1999 was an off year (following the ban around Festina '98 affair plus other major contenders out for other reasons). To win will still give fame, however, it will be seen in the near future as a fluke. In ten years, however, people will have forgotten the circumstances of this TdF yet the winner's name will still be in the books. For example, all of us could look up the names of all previous winners back to 1903 but most of us wouldn't know the various scandals that effected the particular winners of the past. In ten years it will be the same.

    The easy answer is that in the short term this year's winner will be thought less of than had the Spanish affair not occurred. On the other hand, in the future no one will care and the winner will be the winner. So no and yes. However, if this year's winner goes on to win multiple Tours then the particulars of this year will soon be forgotten (ala 1999).
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    -trevor
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. (Robert J. Hanlon)

  22. #22
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor98
    How is the voluntary signing of anything relevant to my post?

    The voluntary signing of a statement years after the attempt to "clean up" sport begins is merely another tactic in that particular fight. Removing riders from this TdF is merely the latest incident in the ongoing fanatical fight against sport cheating. This particular incident is not that egregious, however, the morally absolutist view of the anti-doping agents is appalling and their actions, when taken as a whole, in pursuit of their morally absolutist goal is beyond the pale. Doping should be fought (for many reasons) but we should not lower our ethical standard to accomplish that end.
    I don't think anyone would argue that the rules are perfect. If you have the energy to make the crusade - I'll applaud your efforts, but it is looking quite grim for Ullrich now. We'll have to wait to see about Basso, but methinks he did not put up the sort of protest that a man who has been wronged would have put up. Firm evidence? No. If he is innocent - well I'd feel quite badly for him, but the consolation would be that he'll probably win it next year - what with his talent and the extra motivation and all.

    In the meanwhile, I'll just keep watching and enjoying. After all, what can we do now? Turn back the calendar and make them start the whole tour all over again?
    The search for inner peace continues...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    Did the witches sign agreements with the International Witching Union that if they were under investigation they would be suspended? Hmm... don't think so.

    I wouldn't go jumping from a voluntarily signed agreement by all ProTour riders to the downfall of society just yet...

    DrPete
    Let's see. If you sign this you can compete. If not you can not. Hardly voluntary.

    While not the same as the witch hunts on several levels, not the least of which is that it is at least not directly the government that is doing this, there are many disturbing factors.

    First is that irreperable harm is done based on an accusation. There is no remedy for a rider falsly accused and excluded based on that accusation. If an excluded rider is later found clean harm is also done to the rider who did win the race as his victory is tainted. Seems to me that letting them race while things are being contested is a better course.

    But what is disturbing in this whole thing is that it seems that the underlying argument is that the ends justify the means. I find that highly disturbing and some thing that can be applied in other areas with more important ends.

    Come to think of it perhaps cycling is just following the trend.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    his relationship with "Dr. Robert".
    You are dating yourself with the reference to the famous "Doctor Robert". For anyone wanting a tantalizing peek into the 1960's pop/drug culture that he was part of read Jean Stein's book Edie: American Girl. No movie scriptwriter could have made up a story as wild as this. It will curl your hair.

  25. #25
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99
    But what is disturbing in this whole thing is that it seems that the underlying argument is that the ends justify the means. I find that highly disturbing and some thing that can be applied in other areas with more important ends.
    Almost like professional cyclists who dope to get a competitive edge...

    The fact of the matter is that doping has become SO rampant that even before Puerto, everyone's victory was tainted. When LA kept winning the Tour everyone was convinced that he doped. When Basso won the Giro, Simoni made a thinly-veiled accusation, and it turns out he may be right. TH in the Olympics is another...

    Any cyclist who puts up a dominating performance in any major event, particularly the TdF, is going to be accused of doping by someone. This is not new.

    The problem with pro cycling, and why this really can't be viewed as a court of law with the "innocent until proven guilty" mentality, is that sponsors aren't required to stick by the same ideals. If they are pumping millions into a team that is routinely fielding athletes that were accused of doping, how long do you think that team would keep funding their bad publicity? That's why Liberty Seguros pulled out, and if I were their CEO I'd have done the same. So, if you want to keep the cash flowing into pro cycling and keep the sponsors happy, you need to establish an atmosphere that is completely intolerant of cheating. While far from perfect, the system as it stands does a reasonable job of accomplishing that, and while I do agree that reputations get damaged, I think they would be damaged whether the accused were racing or not.

    DrPete

    DrPete
    Last edited by DrPete; 07-18-06 at 11:27 AM.

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