Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sad week for cycling

You probably know about Tom Danielson's current saga. Until we see the B samples I'll refrain from painting a purely black/white picture here... but it definitely doesn't look good for him, despite what his twitter posts may declare.

One bad test or one bad apple?
Certainly I'm a pessimist at my core, so "if" it turns out that TD was indeed on the good stuff, I certainly won't be shocked. I think it's actually a good run for Garmin considering the number of ex dopers they have and have had on their team... seems at least a few of the guys would turn back to their old ways even if they had started with a "I don't want to do this any more" attitude. Taking for granted of course that TD is the only one not playing fair as opposed to the only one who got caught. (Which is a big if) But of course, pro cyclists dope...riveting stuff right.

What is more interesting and perhaps troubling is Jonathan Vaughters.

Paul Giamatti should definitely play Vaughters in a movie adaptation.

I'm in a tough place as to how I feel about JV's role. "Pushing forward" is how he put it on his twitter... basically responding to the numerous times he's said "one and out" was how he approached one of his squad getting popped. As in, game over for the team. The realist in me knows that isn't exactly how a team like Garmin works... there are a lot of people's lives who you put into turmoil when you pull the plug, not to mention many big companies who get a say in this stuff... all over one guy (we hope) who did the wrong thing. Add to that what JV has tried to build (again, we hope) and it would be difficult to follow through on that kind of threat. So the sympathetic gray area seeing side of me understands and identifies with this decision.

However, part of me wonders if this wasn't one of those moments when something TRULY helpful for the future of cycling came about, where IF he had followed through maybe everyone would have took a second and say "woah... this guy was serious."  Tom on Slowtwitch pondered what might happen in that scenario years down the road if he started another team with the same ethics... then would we see some change truly come to pro cycling? Of course in the short term things would be bad... jobs lost, team in turmoil (or completely disbanded) sponsors lost (although sponsors who hopped on to a "clean" team, which is what was marketed) but what about the long term? We'll never know what would have came from that, and now JV, whether begrudgingly or not, has shown that he is not sticking to his word... at least in this scenario. I just don't have it in me to be like some twitter users who have attacked him for not following through... I guess I just sympathize too much to his situation... but nonetheless, I sort of wish he had stood behind his word and shown that some guys in the peloton don't just want to talk about clean cycling, but want to work for it.

Of course, I had blood taken this morning and have been nursing a headache all day... so maybe I'm just rambling more than usual. If so, apologies, I blame it on blood loss.

Thanks so much for reading, even if it was a departure from the norm.

- Christopher Morelock

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