The 2007 edition of the Dauphine is exceeding expectations. One team is standing out above the others: Astana.
Vinokourov, Kashechkin, and now Colom have made their mark on the race. The only racer close to making such an impression: Frenchman Christophe Moreau. It must be mentioned that no one’s walking away with this – there are 6 riders and 2 americans within a minute.
yo. let’s think about this. Remember Astana? They were known as Liberty Seguros and dissolved during last summer’s Tour b/c of Operacion Puerto. Their team boss was found with a second body’s worth of blood in bags. Astana was saved by some corrupt oligarch from Kazakhstan, Vino’s country. Remember Moreau? he was a member of Festina when it got tossed from the Tour in 1998. Read Breaking the Chain by Willy Voet, former soigneur for Festina.
So one of two things is happening – Astana is pissed and has been working harder than anyone else to get back what they were robbed of last year. Or – Astana, with their questionable team history, has been doing what it takes to get ahead – they have some doctor that found some cocktail that does something special. And Moreau must love the Dauphine (he took second last year) for he, at the ripe age of 36 or something, is kicking some tail around.
What i’m getting at is this: Doping sucks. But, until recently, with the exception of Lance, everyone was on some kind of similar level. Maybe they were all on a mix of Salbutamol and EPO, with a little testosterone and HGH tossed in during base prep. Whatever. You never really knew which of the team leaders were best – because they were all on the same level, the rider who won was still the toughest. Now, riders and teams are running scared. some groups have figured out ways around – others haven’t. i say it now: this will be a time in cycling when the doping controls determine the race results. It creates a culture where doping occurs but only in those teams wishing to push – those teams or riders with something to gain and nothing to lose. The rest will get squashed.
i will be bringing down a world of comments with this – but the Lance tours (save 1999) were boring. They were a show of force. no one could keep up. it sucked to watch him ride it home with a week to go. If someone’s hopped up on something better than the others – they’re going to dominate. And it’s gonna be boring. Somehow the Dauphine is an exception. i don’t know why there’s a six pack close to the lead, but we can’t expect to be this lucky all the time, and i, for one, would rather have this luck in July than in June.by