It was an interesting mix of new gadgets and drama this week.
that the Empires are indeed a performance piece, Phinney wore them in the Giro d’Italia prologue, the London Olympics, as well as his silver medal time trial ride in the World Championships last week (Located in the U.S.? Watch Worlds video highlights in our videos section ).
With cyclocross season underway Castelli has a nice ‘cross skin suit called the ‘Cross SanRemo. Like the Speedsuit the Garmin-Sharp riders were wearing, the ‘Cross SanRemo’s material is a bit thicker to ward off the cool temperatures. Also, the seams and overall fit of this ’cross-specific suit allows better range of movement when off the bike. Castelli also offers the SanRemo Speedsuit in custom team graphics. Hmm ... wonder if they can make a RoadCycling.com kit?
While Interbike was in full effect professional cycling continued what seems to be the never-ending doping drama. In a move that is doomed to failure or at the very minimum a huge public relations blunder, the UCI is suing journalist Paul Kimmage.
Lawyer Charles Pelkey explains in his “Explainer” column on the RedKitePrayer site that filing the lawsuit in Switzerland shows that both the current UCI president Pat McQuaid and past president Hein Verbruggen aren’t confident in the merits of their lawsuit. The suit is what Pelkey described as a SLAPP suit which stands for, The Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. He goes on to describe what this type of lawsuit is - “(it) is essentially a suit filed with the intention of keeping critics silent, by targeting a select few of them in a public battle.”
In this case the select few is Kimmage, who is now unemployed. And let me tell you, even when employed, journalists aren’t the best paid in the media food chain. Verbruggen and McQuaid realize that you can’t get blood from a stone, but regardless, Kimmage has had to retain legal counsel and that will cost money. And the longer the case drags on, the more expenses there will be. This puts the fear of god into any journalist who might raise their voice in opposition. No one wants to be sued.
I’ve been told by someone with close knowledge of the case that Kimmage has been offered pro-bono services from lawyers, so that will help him immensely. In addition the Cyclismas and NYVelocity sites have started a ChipIn and the total raised, as I write this, is over twenty thousand dollars to help defray the costs of the lawsuit.
This suit by McQuaid and Verbruggen in my opinion shows a new low from the top brass at the UCI. Suing a journalist to intimidate is a cowardly act from those two. This also shows the level of desperation the UCI has been reduced to. I believe deep down McQuaid and Verbruggen know that the party is coming to an end - the graft, the sleazy deals and general incompetence of how they ran the governing body is all going to start spilling out.
USADA’s CEO Travis Tygart stated in L’Equipe that what will be revealed about the disgraced Lance Armstrong is “terrible,