So much road cycling news - so little time
The Giro d’Italia is here, but that doesn't stop us from talking about the Tour de France and more. This week is full of cycling news from the 2013 Giro d’Italia to Team Sky Pro Cycling.
The return of White?
It was interesting to read that Matt White, former Postal Service rider, is waiting by the phone for Orica GreenEdge cycling team to offer him his old job back. In case you’ve forgotten, White admitted to doping and was fired from his position as sports director on the Australian registered team.
White tells Cyclingnews that he thinks that it shouldn’t have been the Postal Service squad that needed investigation, but instead the entire era. But realistically how do you do that? The fact of the matter is that US Anti-Doping Agency went after the biggest fish there was – seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. While numerous riders have come forward from other teams stating they have an organized team wide doping program in the 90s-early 2000s (I’m looking at you Rabobank. Rabobank’s now called Blanco), Armstrong and company were the ones winning one of the biggest sporting events in the world seven times in a row. The result is that Armstrong’s admission trickled down to the rest of the peloton as it became apparent that the open secret of doping within the peloton could no longer be contained. Too many people were speaking the truth. Those involved in widespread doping spoke out to get ahead of the story so they could shape their narrative rather than let the press do it. In some cases this is all it took to return to racing.
White has served his suspension and my thought is that he should be allowed back if there’s a job available for him. But why am I so harsh on Armstrong you may be asking yourself? Yes, I have made no secret that the disgraced rider should slink away and not involve himself with professional cycling again. My reason is that Armstrong was the kingpin of doping. He organized the doping, along with Johan Bruyneel, the transportation of it and the selling. By his own admission he was a bully. Those factors are where I draw the line. It’s one thing to use, get caught, and take your punishment. It’s another to be the top of the doping pyramid and intimidate people to be quiet through lawsuits.
Are you Team Wiggo or Team Froome?
Wisely Team Principal at Sky, David Brailsford, named Chris Froome as the solo leader going into this year’s Tour de France. Mr. Brailsford must have read up on the history of cycling and realized the “we’re going into this Tour, Giro, Vuelta with two leaders and let the road sort it out strategy” is never a good idea. Dave put on his big boy undies and made the right call – go with one leader.
The two leader plan divides and conquers a team. Sure it’s been successful: the LeMond and Hinault, as well as Armstrong and Contador internal team battles spring to mind. However, those are short term success and the blow back, post-grand tour, is a team divided. One of the two leaders leaves; a team’s potential strength is halved and management looks like they’re not capable of