Monday, 8 July 2013

stage 9

an early start for me but no respite from this season's hayfever so i dragged myself back inside to sit and watch stage 9. and what a decision. if i had only terrestrial tv and could endure the paul and phil show i'd have missed the early stage fireworks. and from then on i was glued.

true, i'd enjoyed stage 8 but even then i couldn't but associate the froome attack with its landis like proportions. it is. i told myself about the spectacle. so stage 9 was all about what the response would be. surely, as many commentators were wont to say, the tour wasn't over (tho it is looking over for the green jersey).

and neither it was. sky's efforts of yesterday, in stark contrast to the accusations of doping, followed that pattern that, if you burst yourself one day, you're going to pay for it. and, aside from chris froome, that's exactly what happened. also, for those in accord with the comparison with us postal, it sky'd team position should be noted.

the anticipated gang up of the spanish on froome happened a lot sooner than i'd predicted. thos first three hills were gripping but after that it all kind of fizzled out even if froome and the others looked proper done at the end. movistar should surely have done more. and there itself lies a question. just how, when sky were so prolifically burned out yesterday, did movistar manage to get almost their whole team up front. certainly, in the english language speaking of the cycling internet, this has been met with an almost astonishing silence. only sky it seems are fit for conspiracy.

and there's a problem in this. the old rubric of if it looks too good to be true it probably is does not serve a supposedly drug free sport well. in the past the fastest team was on drugs ergo the fastest team is on drugs. even if they're not. (and if they are? metabolic modifiers - that's all i'm saying)

which leaves the viewer of a certain age with a problem. is it possible now to watch a performance in cycling, indeed in any sport, without having it tainted with suspicions of doping. in which case what are we doing still watching. are we somehow the equivalent of internet trolls pouring scorn over everything? certainly this aggressive scepticism doesn;t seem to be helpful in terms of sports development.

as has been said of the epo generation, maybe it's time to leave it behind. and maybe, along with that, it's time for that generation of spectator, of fan, to do exactly the same. leave the modern sport to the young and the rest of us to those racks of books that were never more than myths anyway. the bike is better so get out on that instead.

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