Is team Miche the Half Way House of the ProTour?
The former home of doping violator Michael Rasmussen has now a new orphan slash rehabilitation project in Stefan Schumacher. The German tested positive for EPO CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. He has a one year contract with Miche and promises to be a good boy, eat his vegetables, do his chores and stay away from people carrying syringes or bags of blood.
Miche has given contracts to Rasmussen and Schumacher and surely they’d hoped to sign Riccardo Ricco — but of course, being a half way house — they’re low on funds, Ricco costs too much. Chicken is less expensive than Cobra.
And hey, Dave Rebellin and Danilo Di Luca, there’s a home for you boys when the enforced vacation is up. Miche is the House for Wandering and Disadvantaged Dopers. There’s a cot, a thin but clean blanket, a cup of warm tea and most of all, that most precious commodity, forgiveness.
Miche is probably tucked somewhere in the Italian countryside, offering peace and quiet and a place to do hill intervals without the pressure of the evil, question media. Part Sanatarium, part cycling team. Where the doctors are always kindly, wandering the halls, saying comforting things like “Schumacher, you’re a good person. The bad person that was you is gone.” Or something like “Rasmussen, you’re not a chicken, you are a beautiful butterfly who must spread its wings again.”
The nurses are stern but have hearts of gold and young sister Carmela is particularity devoted to saving cyclists who have fallen from grace. She is shy but passionate, a good girl, an angel. Somtimes she goes down to the pond and swims naked but that is another story.
She will take you to the Miche Chapel and show you how the rosary beads work. You will pray together and prayer will be a hundred times more powerful than scouring the internet for EPO. Miche is a welcome, an acceptance, a rebirth and they want to win a few bike races, too.
Miche is a rarity in professional road racing: a cycling team, component manufacturer, convent and halfway house. But it fulfills an important role in the cycling community, a bridge for those who have failed but wish to find a new home once again.