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June 27, 2004

Alas, poor Liggett: no Brits in 2004 Tour

Guardian Unlimited Sport | British duo out of Tour

With David Millar's exclusion, and the nonselection of Bradley Wiggins at Credit Agricole, the Tour de France will be without a British rider for the first time since 1976.

English speakers will be well represented: There will be at least 5 Americans and as many as 10 Australians in the Tour.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 27, 2004 in Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Tour news | Permalink


Aw - that's a shame. I'm still all tore up about Millar.

Posted by: lancefan at Jun 27, 2004 11:45:42 AM

We all saw the results before our eyes, certain things didnt make sense (faster and faster with great results against guys that have admitted drug use). The sport we love is fatally flawed by the very people we admire.

Comments please if David Millar is guilty by admission what chance that LA is clean?

Posted by: Kimmagewasright at Jun 27, 2004 12:46:17 PM

dont the french police have anything better to do? (ie, crime, terrorism) this would never happen in u.s. as 1)our cops have better things to do with their time. and 2) we have some personal freedoms left, thank god, and 3)something like doping in sports is(SHOULD BE) policed by the individual sports, not exactly a crime with a victim is it?
why arent journalist pointing out the ludicrosity of the french (and italian) police wasting tax payer money/time on issues that should not be within their realm?

Posted by: david at Jun 27, 2004 6:31:27 PM

David, that's a red herring to this discussion, which is about doping in a specific sport.

Anyway, I agonize every day over the question posed by Kimmagewasright (?) as I posted in a thread last week. I'm not an expert so I'd love to hear thoughtful responses but so far people are more interested in bashing the French and speculating about Lance's love life than in talking about the actual sport or the issues it faces.

Posted by: lancefan at Jun 27, 2004 9:05:38 PM

The French and Italian police arethe only people interested in cleaning out the dopers from cycling it seems. The UCI and other cycling unions are afraid of the legal backlash of a banning and the race organisers and team sponsors just want the names and superhuman efforts.
We are the people who are are being deceived, yes us the sports supporters are being played like a peloton of idiots as usual. The dopers are running the sport it seems, lets have some meaningfull input from an ex top rider that is honest for a change !!! oops thats silly they are all still involved in the sport in commentating, pa or even worse team managment(Mr 60%).
The lunatics are running the asylem!!!The only option is to treat them all as guilty until they prove otherwise.(Not by testing, thats a sham but by being honest)Possesion of drugs is the only way to get them, the police are right, more power to them we should all say!

Its a shame it was once a good sport.

Comments please

Posted by: kimmagewasright at Jun 28, 2004 4:11:21 AM

Uh... well, if you treat them all as guilty till proven innocent, there won't be a Tour de France, will there? Since I believe the stated policy this year is to ban even those riders under investigation.

There's another problem too. You can't prove a negative. A rider can't prove he isn't doping, there are only negative tests to go by. In the absence of definitive doping tests everyone would remain guilty indefinitely if we adopt your proposal.

Posted by: lancefan at Jun 28, 2004 11:25:04 AM

For the newbies, "Kimmagewasright" is a reference to Paul Kimmage, an Irish pro who wrote an exposé of drugs in the peloton on his retirement. Called A Rough Ride, it was initially published in 1990, and has recently been republished as Rough Ride with 2 new chapters.

Posted by: Frank at Jun 28, 2004 11:29:45 AM

Sadly, I think it's quite likely that there's a lot more doping in cycling than we can really bear to think about. And yes, it does seem odd that it's the French and Italian courts and police that are doing the actual work of discovery and punishment, but as has been noted, it's not like anyone else is. The practical effect, of course, is that cycling looks like it's made up of junkies and people hiding junkies when the big three ball sports in America--particularly football and baseball, maybe--get a free pass in the media.

As for me, I think I'd support something fairly draconian in this area. I think that every sports organization that participates in the Olympics should institute lifetime bans for positive tests or admissions of use of banned substances, period. Okay, maybe after a grace period ("Any positives or admissions after Date X and you'll never be allowed in sanctioned competition again.") Wonder how many NBA players would be on the USA basketball team then, eh?

As to the question of whether Lance is clean, I think he is. Oh, and "ludicrosity" is my new favorite word.

Posted by: Christopher at Jun 28, 2004 12:44:45 PM

Phil Liggett, David Walsh and and all David Millar's followers thought he was clean too!!!!

If there is no TDF this year it might be a step forward. I'll be watching if there is but from a different mind set.

Can you all sleep well with the results we are about to see?

Lets make our voices heard.

Posted by: Kimmagewasright at Jun 28, 2004 3:47:49 PM

Lord, "Kimmage," what are you expecting to hear? All of us lining up to lament? "What fools we are to not believe the worst? If one has fallen to the wayside, yea verily, all have sinned!"

Well, we're neither naive nor are we fools. One of the things I've found most rewarding about becoming a cycling fan is delving into the rich history of the sport. So, sure, we've read that a champion says that the Tour is not won on lettuce and mineral water, we're aware that there was a time when it was won on cocaine and dynamite.

And we're adults, most of us. Adults mindful of the fact that when the road is very hard that some of us--most of us probably--will look for an easier way. But we're also adults careful not to give into the easy, childish impulse to always assume the worst, to react to monumental achievement by trying to tear it down.

I don't love this sport because I believe that none of its heroes have ever taken the easy, darker way--I love it because I believe some of them haven't.

Posted by: Christopher at Jun 28, 2004 5:20:28 PM

The ludicrosity of assuming LA is guilty of doping because someone with a similar job has admitted to it is not only ludicrositous it's ridiculous. I think I'll be sleeping just fine since the things important to my life have absolutely nothing to do with professional athletes and their sex lives/drug use.

I enjoy the Tour de France for what it is, a supremely difficult test of endurance, speed, team work, and tactics. The fact that some have chosen to cheat to compete in it is hardly a surprise, since, in every difficult endeaver there are always people who choose to cheat. If you assume, as Kimmagewasright does, that Lance is cheating because cheating is taking place, then you also have to assume that anyone who does something very difficult better than you must also be cheating.

That's a view of life so cynical that you have to feel sorry for people who beleive it.

Posted by: BigDave at Jun 28, 2004 7:00:02 PM

you forgot to mention the first Irishman (also speaks english) to take part in the tour since Stephen Roche..... Mark Scanlon..

best wishes Mark.

Posted by: Ciaran at Jun 28, 2004 8:16:55 PM

Sorry, Ciaran, I did -- AG2R hadn't announced their final lineup when I posted this, but I see at IrishCycling.com he was confirmed.

Good on him.

Posted by: Frank at Jun 28, 2004 8:50:32 PM

no probs at all Frank! i just wanted to bring this thread back to its original conception!

great blog by the way - just found it a few days ago - nice to be able to get all my cycling news in the one place..

keep it up!


Posted by: ciaran at Jun 28, 2004 9:07:43 PM