Big group this morning; 12 I’m told, and now way am I going to get everbody in. New guy Steve (friend of Ludo, who was also on the ride), Kevin, Kevin, Eric, Jan, Marcu, Todd, James… see, I’ve run out already!
A bit cooler than Tuesday so leg warmers were appreciated, at least once we hit the fog on the west-84 side. Since it was Thursday we rode up through the park, nothing new there, up Kings, nothing new there either (maybe I would have had more to talk about if I was actually riding with people instead of way behind?). I did manage to keep from getting dropped on the run across Skyline at least!
West-side Old LaHonda’s new surface remains glue-like, making progress seem more sluggish than normal. Or maybe that’s just us? Quite a number of small bunnies today, maybe thinking it was safe to come out with low overcast (cutting down on visibility from hawks). Nothing big like we saw the other day at Arastradero!
At the end, Kevin (my son, not the pilot) took the lead on Manuella, towing James behind. I thought, briefly, to ask Kevin why he was doing that, but figured no way better to learn than direct experience. And that he got, as James came around him pretty easily to take the final sprint. Me? Just barely within range to see what happened. Better than not being there at all!
In the never-ending saga of Lance Armstrong and doping, a story in which truth is not just elusive but likely not recognizable due to the lack of credibility of various “witnesses”, we are seeing perhaps the final contestant up to bat against Lance Armstrong.
USADA’s letter, dated June 12, alleges that Armstrong and five former cycling team associates — three doctors including Italian physician Michele Ferrari, one trainer and team manager Johan Bruyneel— engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2011, and that “the witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten (10) cyclists .?.?.”
And so it continues. Interesting timing (isn’t it always?), just prior to the “big event”… in this case, the Ironman in Nice in 11 days. Pretty darned close to the schedule that was kept prior to various TdF revelations.
Will anything come from this? Who knows. If there was strongly-damnable evidence, why didn’t it come out in the prior proceding? And if there was such evidence, why didn’t Lance chose to retire instead of continue with a “bring it on” attitude by going after the Ironman titles?
Really surprising is that USADA puts stock in the so-called (by Tyler Hamilton) “positive” Tour de Suiss EPO test from 2001, which did not show indications strong enough to be seen as a positive at that time; the tests then available were far more susceptible to a false positive than later tests, so the threshold for a sanctionable indication of doping was higher than shown by Lance’s sample. To say that the sample showed evidence of possible doping did not then and should not now merit a sanction. Testing today would tell the truth, but there are no samples from that event to test. Very weak evidence to bring to the party.
There may in fact be far better evidence of systematic doping that will come out. But as yet, they’ve claimed to have it, but have given no details. Could be a big surprise down the road. Or not. Ultimately, it will be George Hincapie’s testimony, if in fact he gave any, that will be the evidence that decides if this ship sinks or floats. George is the only player that nearly everyone believes will tell the truth.
In the meantime, USADA has not just thrown down the gauntlet, but also, because rules governing road and triathlon events forbid participation by an athlete under investigation, they have exacted a huge penalty well ahead of any judgement. Well played on USADA’s part. It will be interesting to see how Lance’s legal team reacts.