It’s a hard rain — and due to get harder

The celestial sprinkler system went off this afternoon.

The celestial sprinkler system went off this afternoon.

It just pissed down rain like a mad bastard for about 15 minutes and now the sun is shining. Good work, Yahweh. Saved me from having to water the lawn.

Speaking of hard rains, the UCI has asked various national federations to look into Floyd Landis’ charges against, well, everybody. This comes on the heels of the news that BALCO gangbuster Jeff Novitzky is playing a direct role in a federal inquiry that may expand beyond dope-dealing charges and take up fraud and conspiracy raps, which carry more time in the graybar hilton.

Big Tex has trotted out the traditional boilerplate via the Radio ShackStrong website: “We understand that responsible anti-doping organizations and governmental agencies have an obligation to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, even when those allegations are baseless, incredible, and made by people with improper motives.

“At the same time, much of what has been reported in the press is false, sensational and unprofessional. If any governmental or anti-doping organizations conduct a proper investigation, Lance looks forward to once again being totally vindicated after a fair investigation.”

That’s a big if. There’s a lot going on in the world these days, and whether Big Tex and his cronies were applying more than shaving cream to their legs seems like a case of the sniffles next to, say, pestilence, war, famine and death.

Still, there’s some gold in them thar molehills. What ambitious miner wouldn’t want to be the guy who comes up with that big nugget clutched in his grimy fist, the one with the seven yellow stripes? But there’s a lot of hard digging ahead and the sparks are sure to fly as the picks start swinging. Don’t touch that dial.

15 Responses to “It’s a hard rain — and due to get harder”

  1. John Says:

    I’ve decided that cycling is really two sports: one involving lycra-clad athletes chasing each other up and down mountains in exotic and often beautiful locations; the other has a bunch of acronyms (WADA, UCI, ASO, M-O-U-S-E) chasing all these cyclist with a beaker in one hand and a subpoena in the other. Sort of “Law and Order” meets “Versus”. Who will be accused next? Who will crack under the pressure and confess? Wanna pass the popcorn?

  2. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Hey, John,

    There’s at least one more lot — the folks who ride their bikes for fun instead of profit. Kind of like the guys who chuck the ol’ pigskin around in the park on Sundays, have a game of catch with the kids, or shoot a few hoops in a pickup game.

    That the pros are enjoying the dubious benefits of pharmacology doesn’t take the joy out of a fine broken-field run, a nice layup or a balls-to-the-wall sprint for a city-limits sign. Well, it shouldn’t, anyway.

  3. Boz Says:

    This will blow over after a short wait and a newer, juicier story comes along to get the dogs sniffing in another bush. After all, Floyd had gone quiet for some time until his conscience got the best of him. Too bad his conscience hadn’t saved any proof. The dopers have the upper hand-the hands of time.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    The pro circus is increasingly irrelevant to many of us. If anything, the constant, high level push for more titanium gears on the cassette and less weight on the frame is a pain in the ass for those of us who don’t see cycling as a bottomless pit for Mr. Paycheck but rather as something to do to improve our health and enjoy our free time.

    Now, where is my syringe….

  5. John Says:

    I went out and did a hilly 50 today and now all this talk of “fun” of cycling just isn’t making much sense to me. This “joy” of a “balls-to-the-wall sprint for a city-limits sign” you speak of is somehow lost on me…at the moment, anyway. There are times I wonder why it is that I spend so much money on a sport that I’m soooo happy sometimes to be done with. Then I remember, I haven’t spent nearly as much as others I know and I’m having just as much non-fun as they are.

    Seriously, had a great ride today and as soon as the pain amnesia kicks in I’ll want to do that same ride again. I’m dumb that way.

  6. James Says:

    “If any governmental or anti-doping organizations conduct a proper investigation, Lance looks forward to once again being totally vindicated after a fair investigation.”

    Horse meet cart.

  7. John Says:

    From http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/05/news/expert-floyd-landis-could-be-protected-%E2%80%94-and-rewarded-%E2%80%94-by-whistleblower-law_118741

    “Presumably the purpose of sponsorship is for the athletes to reflect well on the sponsor. If it turns out there was illegal drug use and that was known to the company at the time, and the company represented that its athletes were clean, that would be fraud against the government,” said Scott, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney.

    I’m confused. So Tailwind Sports (the US Postal Team management) was suppose to tell the US Postal Service if it knew that members of the team were doping? And by not doing so it’s fraud? How is that fraud? I can understand that it could be fraud if this (hypothetical) doping is exposed because it reflects poorly on the sponsor, but it’s the fraud investigation itself that is (potentially) exposing the doping!

    I’m reminded of a story I read about a driver getting pulled over by a Tijuana cop looking for a bribe.
    “Why did you pull me over,” the driver asked.
    “I pulled you over because you didn’t use your turn signal,” the cop replied.
    “When did I fail to use my turn signal?”
    “When I pulled you over.”

  8. Opus the Poet Says:

    You know, all this talk about doping has the people in the city council I talk to about bike lanes wondering what I’m on. 😛

  9. Larry T. Says:

    Basta (enough, as they say in Italia) with the BigTex speculation! Let’s wait until the next turd floats up to the surface — with the feds involved it shouldn’t be long.
    Meanwhile, who’s it gonna be in pink this Sunday, Evans or Basso? Most folks are discounting the Spaniard (wanna bet this guy’s name’s on the Puerto list?) and saying it’s a two-man race. The Italian’s are giving an edge to Evans if the Gavia stage actually happens but that’s in a bit of doubt due to weather — no more ’88 Hampsten-like races for the modern Giro if they can help it. The dicey descent would see Basso going like he’s using training wheels if it’s wet. I’ve ridden down it back when it was dirt and climbed it a few times now that it’s paved…but never in anything but near-perfect weather conditions. Pundits say Evans needs to be no more than 20 seconds behind Birillo by Sunday if he wants to win. It’ll be a great feat for the Aussie if he can pull it off and I have to say I’d rather see him win than the guy who “thought about doping” while wiping the floor back in 2006 with guys who later turned to be doing more than just thinking about doping.

  10. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Larry,

    I’d like to see Evans get it. He’s done what he said he’d do after winning the worlds — honor the rainbow jersey by racing his ass off in it.

  11. steve-o Says:

    You got 15 minutes of rain … we got 30 minutes of golf-ball sized hail. No, none the size of canned yams, but real darn close. We were lucky, no damage, but somehow 3/4 of a mile down the road, they got 3 inches of hail on the ground when it was over. Never seen anything like it. Typically we worry about the dimpling effect on our cars after a little Kansas sunshine, but this time it was broken windshields left and right.

  12. Boz Says:

    It is indeed nice to see Evans stomping on the pedals with authority. Seems the rainbow jersey came with an a large set on huevos, which Cry’n Cadel is putting to good use. but, then, I’d probably cry too, after some of the luck he’s had.

  13. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    I want Evans to win. I don’t know Arroyo. I’m kind of bummed Basso is having such a strong return to form. I don’t hate the guy, but I like to see riders who return from a suspension struggle a bit more than Basso has.

    I think the Giro is Evans’s best opportunity for a top podium spot for a Grand Tour. And I don’t think Evans can fight this hard at the Giro and still have enough in the tank to fight even harder at the TdF. Nevermind that he was in excellent form during the Spring Classics as well.

    I just feel the TdF requires better team support, better pharmaceuticals, and a season built solely on the TdF. Contador should win, barring accident or getting busted. The Schlecks seem off this year.

  14. steve-o Says:

    Jeff? Basso? Not struggling? You realize he’s been back from suspension for almost two years now, yeah?

  15. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    steve-o: Yeah, I know he didn’t just come back yesterday. But still, I just don’t cotton to riders who serve suspensions coming all the way back to the top of the podium. Just my bias, I guess.

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