Sunday, 29 July 2007

thank you geoffrey wheatcroft

at last, despite the shrillness of protest from pat mcquaid about a breakaway from the UCI, even if it pitches ASO in with WADA, a grave mistake in my opinion, unless in some way it leads to the fall of that nasty little man dick pound, despite the endless rehashing of arguments about 'drugs and the Tour, despite a, quite frankly, bewildering display of negative opinion about cycling in general from the public at last the observer manages to come up with a balanced piece about drugs not just in cycling but sport in general

and is it just sport. T related a story to day about healthy eating at her work. in order to encourage this, and let's face it this country needs all the encouragement it can get, free fruit and herbal teas were offered at her canteen. shortly afterwards the service seemed to disappear. was it because the staff had developed a sudden taste for healthy eating - unlikely as T's employers can easily be cast as merchants of death? no, it turned out they were stealing the goods. it doesn't matter if it's sport, in every aspect of life people cheat (or lie or steal, or all three in combination). sport exists for us a pretence, the notion of fairness transported from victorian playing fields and occupying almost the totality of the sporting psyche, excluding in the process the salient fact that we're just not like that

i didn't think much about the scandals today, i even turned over when pat mcquaid was interviewed on eurosport, like the thousands lining the route (for a time trial!) all i wanted to do was watch the race. did evans lose a couple of seconds because he didn't wear overshoes, did the result favour contador because there was a tail instead of a headwind and who would have believed leipheimer could've put up such a fight. yes, tomorrow will probably be a formality, but tomorrow, as i have done for the last twenty years, i'll be sitting in front of the TV watching the spectacle. afterwards i'll most likely get on the trainer and maybe i'll be able to get my injured leg towards ten minutes and i'll be thinking about being back on my bike, out on a hill somewhere, struggling in some tiny gear, and at the back of my head will be the echoes of all those Tours i've watched, all that struggle, all that effort and the rest of it won't mean a thing

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