The letter V. The evil letter of pro cycling.
What is it with the letter V and cycling’s dark side?
We picked up the laptop this morning to find three different stories all showcasing the letter V and its damaging effect on cycling.
First, Alejandro Valverde is back with Movistar (Caisse, part II) after his two year doping suspension with claims he did “nothing wrong.” Which insults everyone’s intelligence, strains credulity and reeks of cynicism and hypocrisy. (Did we miss anything there?)
Second, unrepentant doper Alexander Vinokourov lashes out in the media, insisting that the story he bribed his way to his Leige-Bastogne-Leige win is just jealousy. Meaning what exactly — other riders wish they could also buy races like the Kazakh?
Vino is a senior member of the “Did Nothing Wrong” club and now he’s added what we might call “performance enhancing bribery” to his rap sheet. By all accounts, Alexandr Kolobnev never even got paid the money Vinokourov owed him for not bothering to contest the sprint to the finish-line.
The Kazakh has broken laws against doping and bribery and worse, he’s too cheap to pay up — is there a UCI regulation banning tightwads? (On the slip side, a talent for bribery is almost a mandatory for politics in Kazakhstan where Vino plans to run for parliament.)
Finally, the last V is for Vacansoleil. Two years ago the team trotted out not one, but two riders with several dark clouds overhead: Riccardo Ricco and Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera. The Cobra later botched his own transfusion with stale blood from his fridge. Mosquera died a slow death in legal limbo and today Vancansoleil confirmed that have fired him.
V is simply not a good letter for professional cycling. But then we realized with horror, the only other name we could think of starting with V. Say it ain’t so! Is Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters about to do something horrible?