Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cycling Karma

You've got to wonder sometimes if there is a certain natural order in the professional cycling world that rights wrongs beyond the scope of UCI, WADA or any other authority. Then again, it may just be the natural ebb and flow of changing fortunes as careers rise and fall. This opening week has seen a typically nervous and eager Tour de France peloton crashing hard and often.

Alberto Contador goes into the mountains with a deficit to his chief rivals, but also with the extra efforts of several chases back to the peloton and the commensurate bumps and bruises that come from "touching the floor". Is it just bad luck? or does the Tour enforce its own code of ethics on its participants?

Radio Shack have suffered mightily, but I think their woes are less of the karmic kind and more an example of going in to a major race without a clear goal in mind. A disciplined outfit like Radio Shack, who are more accustomed to going in to the Tour with the singular purpose of putting Lance Armstrong on the top podium are now like an elite fighting force without a leader. Sure they are good on paper. Sure they have several guys who could step up and be "the one", but without that clear, decisive leader they are riding without much direction or fire and the large number of crashes and losses they have suffered so far are the result of that kind of listlessness.

This theory does little to explain the broken collarbone of Bradley Wiggins who looked to be an interesting threat this year. But then again, I've been watching British Eurosport coverage of the Tour and to say that they had a bit of bias would be a definite understatement. I though that commentator David Duffield was going to start crying on air when Wiggins was seen holding his collarbone. Commentator Sean Kelly serves as the nice, dry Irish counterpoint to all of the English wingeing. His subtle, rapier-like comments are great and he truly struggles to try and be magnanimous when he is asked about riders that he raced with in the '80's and '90's. His struggles to try to say something nice about Djomoladine Abdoujaporov, "the Tashkent terror", were painfully comical as he broke down exactly why Abdou was a dangerous sprinter to be around.

But let us not forget the Luna Cycles p/b Whoever wants to give us money Fantasy Tour de France and my complete and utter domination of the first week in this prestigious Fantasy cycling event. It goes without saying that Team Roadspeeder is in this thing to win it and if we make the other fantasy teams look silly in the process, so be it.

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