Still, there are those who believed Floyd Landis when he adamantly denied doping during the 2006 Tour de France. And went to bat for him when he started an online Wiki doping defense movement to clear his name before ultimately losing in the Court of Arbitration.
I really wanted to believe him.
But I remember watching him bounce back from an epic bonk in the Tour, only to devastate the field and clinch the Tour the following day. And sitting in front of the TV thinking he had to be on something.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal, of all places, broke the news that Landis had sent a number of emails admitting to doping during the 2006 Tour and much of his riding career.
The lying sack of disgraced rider said that longtime Lance Armstrong coach Johan Bruyneel introduced him to doping techniques such as steroid patches, EPO, blood doping and human growth hormone, beginning when he first started riding for Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Team in 2002. And he accuses Bruyneel of coaching him on how to use them without getting caught.
Maybe he should have paid more attention.
As might be expected after placing the blame on Armstrong’s coach, he also accuses Armstrong and fellow teammate George Hincapie of being complicit in the doping, with the clear implication that Lance was doing it, too.
Not surprisingly, Lance denies everything. Then again, so did Floyd for the past four years.
Landis, who signed with the Bahati Foundation team earlier this year in a comeback attempt, claims that former Phonak team owner Andy Rihs — the team he rode for in 2006, which was disbanded after his disqualification — knowingly picked up the tab for his doping program after he signed with the team.
And he says that he helped current Amgen Tour of California leaders Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer take EPO before a previous ToC race.
It shouldn’t shock anyone to discover that there is doping in pro cycling. Or that Floyd is every bit as dirty as the authorities claimed.
But seriously. Why do you think they call it dope, Floyd?
On a soggy day in Italy, the Giro leaders get caught by a devastating breakaway, possibly killing their chances on the podium. The new leader, Saxo Bank’s Richie Porte, now holds an almost 10 minute lead over former leader Vinokourov, whose best chance to climb back up in the standings might be to give Dr. Christopher Thompson an Italian drivers license.
In the ToC, Landis-accused Dave Zabriskie retains the lead with a slim advantage of just 6 seconds or less over Michael Rogers and co-accused Levi Leipheimer; unless something dramatic happens in the next couple days, it looks like the race will be determined at the Downtown L.A. time trial on Saturday.
Saboteurs attack cyclists in a local Maryland criterium by scattering thumb tacks at various points along the course, resulting in crashes and damaged bikes, with a number of minor injuries and at least one broken bone.
Hopefully, local authorities will recognize the seriousness of the crime and respond appropriately; while bike haters may giggle about it, this is no less a violent assault than the Christopher Thompson case.
By the time you read this, it will be too late to grab free food and bike swag on Bike to Work Day. Riders who could make it Downtown on Wednesday had a chance to roll through the streets with a police bike escort. And there’s still a few Bike Week events later in the week.
But has it ever occurred to anyone that people who ride to work ride home, too? Why not make a real day of it next year and set up some of those pit stops in the evening, instead?
Meanwhile, Metro’s The Source, which as done a great job of covering Bike to Work Week, is looking for recommendations for the best blogs that focus on bikes as transportation, rather than recreation. You can find some of my favorites over there on the right; email your suggestions to [email protected] or leave a comment on their Facebook page.
L.A. County announces the second round of hearings on the new county bike plan; how about putting some sharrows on PCH? Glendale will invest a $150,000 grant in upgrading bicycle infrastructure; Stephen Box examines the Glendale Police Department’s understanding of their own laws regarding riding on the sidewalk. Bikerowave speaks on Saturday with 7 bike activists talking for 7 minutes each on 7 subjects. Bicycle Fixation considers the proposed 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard and the potholes of L.A. With the publisher in L.A. for a workshop, Tucson Velo looks at the Bikerowave., after discovering our notoriously cracked pavement and lack of infrastructure. I wonder if the ToC podium girls are doping, too. A look at the return on investment for years of bike advocacy. Chicago observes the Ride of Silence, while a Detroit bike blog says the Ride of Silence comes with good intentions but sends the wrong message. A Maryland cyclist gets doored, and police ticket him in the hospital in violation of local laws. In DC, a cop orders a cyclist to use a new bike lane before it’s opened. Dogs and bikes don’t always get along. Ten cents used to get your bike across New York’s Triborough bridge. A look at bicycling in Tokyo. Five motorists go on trial for a roadway dispute that ended in the death of a London cyclist. British cyclists ride to honor Alfred the Great. The Guardian asks why British women are so vulnerable to collisions with big trucks; the conclusion is get away from the curb.
Finally, The League of American Bicyclists announces their ranking of bike-friendly states; California is dropping like a rock (pdf), having fallen from 7th in 2008 to 14th in 2009 to 19th in 2010. Washington leads the list, while Alabama takes up the rear.