Charles Manantan has a new piece titled absolute bullshit over at pezcycling. I am with him for the call to create a stronger riders union that can represent the interests of the professional cycling athlete. There absolutely needs to be a strong, robust, transparent organization in place and pronto. Either through a real shake up of the current unions structure or a complete replacement of the current union.
A riders strike? Maybe. That is the ultimate leverage, is it not? It would certainly flip the script.
But tends to lose me:
Something I find interesting (and some humor in) is that while Jonathan Vaughters and Michael Ball are almost polar opposites, they are both advancing change for the better…
Vaughters and Ball have nothing in common more than the fact I’ve just put them in the same sentence. Full stop. One is a man who has been through the meat grinder and didn’t much like it. He’s trying to change the game. The other is a new-moneyed loudmouth who will move on to the next cool thing once he realizes his money pit of a team is going nowhere.
That said, Rock Racing is going to win a lot of races in the US this year. Big fish, small pond and all that. Next year and across the pond are as yet to be determined. Does Mr. Ball have the balls to keep throwing money at a team that is nowhere near ready for Europe in a tightening economy where his luxury goods product sales will do nothing but decline? My guess is no.
Anyway, back to Manantan’s piece:
In the past couple of years, the efforts to control doping have taken a substantial step forward in that we actually have doping being acknowledged and commented on by riders (and by acknowledgement I don’t just mean in the form of one pro dropping back and threatening someone for speaking up)
How ’bout a pro riding off the front and punishing the breakaway because one rider had “spoken up” in regards to a shared doctor/coach/vampire they both wrote large checks to?
That happened. Never mind dropping back: We are talking about charging off the front, in your face, right on the cameras, lets not even pretend it’s something it’s not mafia type shit.
It would be no different is Roger Clemens beaned some schlep who had provided damaging testimony in the Mitchell report the first time the faced off on the field. We would all see it as a petty act of revenge, leaning some someone to shut them up and make an example of their disregard of the omerta.
There is a direct correlation between said acknowledgement and the shit hitting the fan. The truth wants to come out, and it’s damn hard to keep that door nailed shut. No matter how many nails you’ve got in your pocket. We will all one day read of Johan Bruyneel’s Belgian Bunny Juice and the Race Winning Cocktails injected all the way from Austin to the Champs-Élysées.
And it will be some good reading. I plan on owning a first edition.
He’s losing me again:
I mentioned the war on drugs / war on terror above, and the ASO and RCS and lately to a lesser degree the UCI seem to have something in common with terrorists just like they do the Mafia… Terrorists tend to want to break down society and keep people poor, starved and desperate. That’s the only way they can maintain control. To a degree, that’s what’s happening to cycling and to its riders…
When an organization decided they’d rather not have a rolling pharmacy soil their event, you compare that to terrorism?
Perhaps I’m being to hard on Mr. Manantan. Cycling is fucked up. Everyone, all of us in and around the sport of cycling want to see a change. The question for some of us, it seems, is what the problem actually is. And then, of course, how to fix the problem. A riders union, a real one with some fucking teeth, would help to right the ship.
On that much, as least, I think we all can agree.by