“There are a lot of guys ready to fill in his [Contador’s] shoes. In every sport, some big stars have left and the sport has not suffered from it.”
That was UCI president Patrick McQuaid choking up and shedding tears about Alberto Contador missing the Tour de France. A situation the Irishman sees as a high probability.
“It’s not a good place for Contador to be at the moment,” McQuaid told Reuters. “We could assume that it’s a possibility that he will not be at the Tour de France.”
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about his statements are what’s underneath. The man is privy to all the sordid details of meat-gate, the scientific analysis, the possible counter arguments and the back and forth negotiations with the Spanish Cycling Federation. In the five months since Contador’s positive for minute traces of clenbuterol he’s had plenty of time to run the scenarios.
In Twisted Spoke’s opinion, his words make it clear that the head honcho of cycling’s governing body has every expectation that Contador won’t ride the tour and that one way or other Contador will be suspended and fined for doping. (They may even go after his mechanic Brother Fran and confiscate his shop tools.)
In other words, Pat McQuaid is cutting his losses and saying au revoir to the biggest star in cycling. Time to move on, promote other top riders and celebrate the ascension of Andy Schleck, a Leopard soon to be winning those Credit Lyonnais stuffed lions.
McQuaid has been on an anti-Spain rampage for several years. He actively dislikes Alejandro Valverde, doesn’t think much of Ezequiel Mosquera and now even that nice boy from Pinto, Alberto Contador, has worn out his welcome.
You have to figure that McQuaid spent the first few months after meat-gate racking his brain for ways to avoid the embarrassment of a Contador sanction. Things were hush-hush at UCI headquarters and the hope was that somehow Alberto and his lawyers could make the tainted cow theory fly.
But cows aren’t much on air travel and then the plasticizer story blew up. An intense grilling of UCI scientific staff for a exit strategy that might favor the Spaniard came up empty. The handwriting was on the wall and even after a few cocktails it was hard to miss.
It was time to start saying goodbyes. As McQuaid said himself, there are other less problematic guys ready to fill Contador’s Sidis.