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Grand tours

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by Keith Oates, 7 Feb 2008.

  1. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    We know that the TdF is the 'big one' for all road race riders and fans but the Giro is also very good and as far as I could see was improving each year. Now they have deliberately overlooked four of the pro tour teams because they, like ASO, consider that it's their race and the elected world body, UCI, should not interfere. As we've seen in the TDU, the arrival of the pro tour teams has raised the level so much that they are now endeavouring to arrange a more demanding course for next year to conteract so many sprint finishes. So the Giro are prepared to lower the standard of the race just to show the UCI that it is more important than them. Who is the loser, everyone, the top riders, the fans, the race organisers, the sponsors and everyone who follows and supports the sport. They say 'drugs' is having an adverse affect on cyclings credibility, which is true, but the grand tour companies are compounding the problem!!!!!!!!
     
  2. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    Our Sport faces an uncertain future on the big stage another season of positive after positive will be the final nail in the lid, we will be reduced to a joke on the world stage. The big boys of organisers are looking to protect their core business by limiting the possibility of a positive by excluding serious potential risks. Astana where a joke last year the fact that they have now recruited riders and DS from Discovery has not alleviated any fears with a lot of cycling fans just look at how whispers and quiet accusations continue to be bandied about especially about a former winner the former team and a winner from last year. I can understand why Astana have not been invited and personally don't want to see them at the TdF Paris Roubaix etc.

    The UCI have failed miserably in trying to get doping out of cycling in my opinion and we must now look at other options such as excluding teams who are perceived to be a risk which is what the Grand Tour Organisers are doing.
    Is it the right way to go about it? Only time will tell but I think its worth a try.

    On the other hand I feel that TMobile/High Road are suffering predominantly on past history over a number of years. They have made big inroads into cleaning up their act which was severely damaged by Sinkewitz's positive test. Their are other teams who have had riders test positive in past years or riders who have admitted doping now involved with running teams who are not mentioned in the same breath as Astana High Road or threatened with exclusion its not an even approach.

    There is no easy fix to something the vast majority want to see fixed here and now. Maybe an Amnesty is the way to get out of this quagmire but it must be full open and honest coupled with life bans from then on for anyone caught doping.

    ASO and Co are attempting to clear the decks and move on from dark days and regain our integrity, hypocritical it may be in some ways unpopular also but some people have surely brought it upon themselves.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    You put another point of view to mine but I must say I disagree with your thinking. ASO and Co. are trying to clean up cycling, on that I agree, but they are also trying to ensure that cycling is confined to Northern Europe only and to me that's not good for the sport in the long term. America, China, Australia and other areas of the world are beginning to promote and follow the sport and these should also be encouraged. I think that the UCI have ackowledged that and are trying to make it a world sport, IMO the three grand tour owners are only looking after their own interests. This is understandable and many other British and European businesses have done this in the past and they no longer exist. The exclusion of Astana, High Road etc. doesn't make sense as they are completely seperate and differently managed teams than last year(s). The jealousy that has blighted Disco in the past should not influence what is happening today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. Come on, it's hardly like the disputes between UCI and the Grand Tours just started this week.
    UCI has tried to take control of bike racing away from the organisers and teams, it hasn't worked, now it seems the Grand Tours have told them to stick it finally.
     
  5. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    Keith I agree with you that the sport should be developed into other countries, but am not sure that the UCI are the right people to take it there.
    ASO have already broken out of Northern Europe with the Tour of Qatar current options on the table include taking the TdF start to Tokyo and Qatar and would imagine have other plans in the pipeline.
    Putin is rumoured to want to have a Tour of Russia and this big Tour of America is being revised and may still get off the ground.
    The UCI needs to buck up its ideas and be a stronger organisation as a ruling body it should have the diplomatic nous to be able to negotiate with commercial operations such as ASO not go to war with them it should also have the balls to root out and exclude cheats.

    We seem to agree that High Road should be in the Giro but not Astana. I dont think its jealousy of Disco driving the backlash against the 'New Astana' I thinks its suspicion that all may not be as it seems with them.
    I never gave a positive test is not the same as I never took drugs.
    Alberto Contador could if he wanted stop all the speculation and rumour if he wanted by giving a DNA sample he has not done it yet. If Jan was at it what was driving Lance when he tore him to ribbons on the Alpe d Huez. Until questions such as this are answered suspicions are always going to surround Disco/Astana.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    To many people they would never accept anything Armstrong says unless it was 'I took drugs'. IF and it's a big IF he broke the rules then it's fine to castigate him but to my knowledge this has not happened and many have tried to catch him out. Big Mig was also unbeatable in his day but there is no witchhunt going on there. I think that the case with Armstrong is partly down to the fact that he was/is a very brash person and that get's under some peoples skin.

    Astana, like High Road, are now following all the extensive testing procedures which should prevent any drug testers from slipping through the net. This testing seems to be accepted as the best available by the UCI, WADA and others in the 'industry' let's accept that, take it onboard and forget the past. Armstrong, Disco and the previous Astana set up have gone and no longer play any part in our sport, why keep bringing it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    You're right Andy, and it could end up that cycling 'World Championships' etc. will only be confined to Northern Europe which is a bit like the USA World series of some sports that only really get pacticed in the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Keith, if you still believe LA was clean then you're in a rapidly dwindling minority. That's history to a certain extent but the UCI v aso is more important and the UCI have let the sport down so badly over the years that they've lost the moral high ground. The sport of cycling in my opinion still needs a strong governing body to give it coherence and unity but I'm not sure that the UCI is capable of doing it. It's a mess.
    As to spreading the sport to other parts of the world, I'm not convinced it's a priority or indeed necessary. American football, baseball, cricket, rugby all survive healthily without being truly global sports.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Rich P, what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't really matter if Armstrong broke the rules, he's gone, so let sleeping dogs lay. We had a confession forced out of Bjorn Riis, so has that cleared up anything in the sport, I think not. What I'm saying is that Armstrong didn't get caught, if he did take any drugs so let it be. There is however just a chance that he was a brilliant athelete, but of course that can't be, so finding unproven drug offences make people feel better because he would then be not so good in their eyes. This somehow seems to make them feel better, I don't get my kicks that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. girofan

    girofan New Member


    Let's not forget also this week's petulant outburst from Pat (The Prat) Mcquaid. Saying in essence that the UCI runs everything and if anyone doesn't like it, well, tough!
    Let the promoter run his race and let the UCI administer the rules of the sport and rider licences.
    As for Mondilisation, you can stick it where the sun don't shine. This pipe-dream has been going on for over 25 years and IMO it just creates confusion in the minds of the general sports fan and muddies a clearly defined programme of events. The classics for one day rider's, the tours for the all-rounder.
    As for LA and Disco. the amout of anecdotal evidence grows by the day. LA uses litigation to silence the nay-sayers, just as he bullied his way through the peleton. Fans don't forget, that's why there is such negative vibes about Astana and TMobile, (Highroad). They know if possible these teams will be back to the 'old ways' if constant monitoring and diligence is not applied. Ban them and they might eventually get the message and that message will be seen by other miscreant DS's in charge of dodgy teams.
     
  11. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton

    I think it matters a bit if LA broke the rules! I agreed that it shouldn't muddy the waters over what should happen in the future though.
    I disagree that the outing of Riis, Zabel, Sinkewitz, Ulrich etc has done no good, however. I think that it has provided the impetus and will (although not perhaps from the UCI) to finally try some drastic measures to clean up the sport.