May 21, 2007 posted by

Giro, Floyd, and Dope

You gotta love the Giro! I turn on the live broadcast this morning and circus music is playing and the peloton is absolutely flying along at 30kph. At first, I thought they must be showing the neutral zone because the riders are barely pedaling, laughing, joking with the cameras. But no, it’s in the third hour and they’re still just plodding along like a critical mass ride. So they are showing highlights of yesterdays stage along side the parade. Italy, man.

The reason this is happening is that yesterday was absolutely brutal and the next week is far far worse. The finishing climb yesterday didn’t look steep but as soon as riders would stop pedaling across the line they’d instantly stop and topple over. The “real” mountains start tomorrw and it’s going to be ugly. Everyone should watch. No, really, you should. I’m serious.

Now, perhaps the reason PIANO is coming back into fashion on this brutal course is dope or, perhaps, lack of it. On any given stage doping isn’t a real revalation because with time to rest you can max most of the systems that it aids. But in a stage race, doping is huge because it aids recovery so well. So these piano days are like recovery rides. They’ll get to some racing at the end but it’ll mainly be the sprinters hammering. The GC guys will kick it in the middle of the pack.

So, is Floyd guilty? I’m certain that I know the answer but won’t say it. I do hope he gets off though because the way the current system is he’s being used as a bit of a scapegoat. With the Telekom revelations yesterday, um, cycling is just going to change. It has to.

Teams need to get rid of full time doctors. Let’s see, what would a doctor do on a bike team; fix injured guys? Yes, of course, but that’s not a full time job and a PT would make more sense on a daily level. Feed them. Um, no. Doctors don’t know about nutrition, necesarily, so you have a nutritionist do this. Train them? Again, trainers and coaches do this. People who studied exercise physiology, not medicine. So, what do the doctors do then? A full time doctor is going to spend their time figuring out how to recharge the hormonal and other physcial systems to aid recovery from training and the ensure all systems are maximized, medically, for racing. But not using nutrition, or therapy, or training, because those are other’s fields. The doctors field is, yep, drugs, or at least modalities that can include drugs. So if you are paying a medical doctor to make your team go fast it pretty much stands to reason that his job would include doping. That’s what Dr. Fuentes (Operation Puerto) said and, well, it makes perfect sense. Fuentes’ line was even something like “what else am I going to do, I’m a doctor?!”

Anyway, you can follow Floyd’s trial in almost absurd depth on this site. It’s pretty cool, actually:

Landis trial blog

1 Comment

  • Hey Steve, if you won’t tell the answer, could you at least explain if testosterone would in fact have helped Landis recover before the big stage? I watched a lot of the Tour the few last years. Awesome. Fortunately the Stanley Cup Finals and the Tour are fairly close together, so I can up my satellite subscription to the $50 a month or whatever it takes to get Versus for about 6 weeks….

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