Vino Fails Dope Test!

Over here, or en français.

Not entirely clear why Klöden et al should be pulled from the race, too. Maybe we’ll find out in the hours to come. Anyway: this is just what we want: a drugs angle to inject a bit of life into the cycling soap opera that won’t destabilise the whole event.

While I’m on the subject, do other Stoa-readers agree with me that Vino looks funny when he rides his bike? Especially when he’s being filmed from the front on the breakaway. I can’t really describe it; he looks like some kind of comically stubborn child as the legs pump up and down. The bandaged knee has something to do with it, but I don’t think it’s just the bandage; he’s stockier than the average cyclist, and that has something to do with it, too. Maybe it is just me.

Anyway: it’s been a cracking Tour, and I can breathe easily now that it looks as if Cadel Evans won’t be winning it.

UPDATE: Good piece (as ever) by William Fotheringham in tehgraun.

0 thoughts on “Vino Fails Dope Test!”

  1. I’ve always thought that Vino resembled Thom Yorke on steroids when riding.

    Is there any leading rider who hasn’t been implicated in doping – even Rasmussen is in all sorts of bother, isn’t he? And Contador was part of the very dodgy Astana last year. Why not allow all Tour riders a certain number of blood transfusions and testosterone patches during the race, as a sort of power play? Then we can concentrate on the cycling.

    What’s your opinion on the much hyped British contingent this year?

  2. Chris,

    Why breathe easy over Cadel?

    This all makes Vino’s line on Rasmussen a bit rich, but the thing that confuses me about blood doping is how we have room for the extra blood. I know we can donate a pint which is a sixth of our capacity, but how much room is there for us to top up?

    I think he’s saddle’s a little low to save his knees – would definitely give him that petulant todler look.


  3. What’s your opinion on the much hyped British contingent this year?

    I think they’ve done alright. I never seriously thought Cavendish would win a stage (though he was unlucky with crashes early on) and his team always planned to pull him out when the mountains got serious; so with luck this Tour will be a good learning experience for him. Wiggins has had a cracking tour, with a good Prologue and a really fine time trial the otherday. David Millar made his impact on the Tour setting the pace up that Pyrenee the other day — only to find Mayo couldn’t do anything to take advantage of the situation. I haven’t noticed Wegelius or Thomas so much, but they still seem to be stuck in there, so good for them.

    Why breathe easy over Cadel?

    I don’t think he can win it now, because he shouldn’t be able to win that much time back over Rasmussen or Contador in the time trial; and I don’t want him to win, because I think the Tour should be won in the mountains rather than in the contre-la-montre.

  4. Maybe, though the race commentary on the main TdeF site says that “The Astana team forfeited has its place in the race at the request of the organizers following the positive doping control of Alexandre Vinokourov”, which suggests something else is going on. Is this a new policy, that if a rider fails a dope test the whole team gets kicked out (in order to get the teams to take doping seriously)? Or something else?

  5. Chris
    Given your comments above Evans, I take it that you weren’t a fan of the phenomenon that is/was Big Mig. I generally agree that it is good if the tour is won in the mountains but found Indurain highly appealing as a champion. No?

  6. I take it that you weren’t a fan of the phenomenon that is/was Big Mig.

    He was an astonishing cyclist — but you’re right: I always cheered on whoever was trying to bump him from the top spot: Claudio Chiappucci was an early favourite of mine (though he never really came close).

    But I’ll say this for Indurain: if memory serves, he tended to take the yellow jersey quite early, after the first long time trial, and then hung on to defend it in the mountains. So lots of people got to attack him, and that was fun. My worry about Evans was that his game plan was to do this in reverse: to hang on in the mountains and then take the lead in the final time trial, which seems somehow unsporting. Anyway: Rasmussen is far enough ahead that that’s unlikely to happen, unless he falls off his bike (again, and again).

    One of the things that I liked about Lance Armstrong is that even when he could have won the Tour riding in a very conservative fashion, Mig-style, he still couldn’t resist going on the attack, or trying to win on the mountain summits. Maybe he did that in part because he couldn’t always count on beating Ullrich in the time trials. But whatever the reason, it often made for compelling TV.

  7. Oh man.

    Maybe the sponsors should be given the power to test the riders they support, on top of the standard regime as part of the contract? Given that T-Mobile may withdraw support from their team after this Tour such a system could really put the pressure on all the teams. I suppose that’s dependent on the main tests being periodically effective at screening cheaters lest sponsors turn a blind eye on their investments, but if I were the CEO of Rabobank I’d be pretty angry right now and wonder if the team were negligent in the way they ran their operation and thus my investment. (Discovery Channel could then make a worthy documentary about the science of testing).

    Anyone know how many are randomly screened each day as percentage of the peloton?

    I’m sorry we won’t get to see Wiggins time trial again.


  8. Yesterday, when the news came out that a rider had failed a dope test, but before it was ID’d as Moreni, I think the press was reporting that after that stage about a dozen riders had been tested — the stage winner, maybe the Yellow Jersey, and ten or eleven randomly selected riders.

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