Brought back to life by reader demand, the Broken Chain Award is considered for any person or thing that protrudes above the surface of cycling’s bad behavior and bad ideas.
Yours in Cycling, Gianni
The obvious first choice, the easy choice, was the French TV driver who put Juan Antonio Flecha down on the road and Johnny Hoogerland into the barbed wire on Stage 9 of the Tour de France. The driver, rumored to be an ex-pro, was trying to get ahead of the break, passing them where there wasn’t room. Hit a tree or hit some riders, he went right and now might be in the witness protection program in Latvia. But can this guy be the biggest idiot of the year in cycling? Passing a group of racers who are already using both lanes, driving fast to get around them, keeping eyes on the cyclists and a tree runs out into the road. This is inexcusable driving but there is an even bigger tool in the bin.
The vitriol I distill in my heart for the cheaters in cycling has somehow decreased this year. Less doping or better cheaters – I’m not sure. The lack of busted, denying dumb-asses has had a good effect on my health. The two-time loser brigade which should, by all reasonable calculations still be paying the price, seems to have found teams corrupt enough to pay them to ride. OK, Di Luca is riding but not getting paid. Tchmil should break him like a twig and toss him in a Russian potato field. Stefan Schumacher is back riding for Christina Watches, the Rock Racing of Europe.
Having a high VO2 max has no correlation with intelligence. Some riders even have the perfect amount of dumb. But Ricardo Ricco has much more than his fair share. He had already served a ban for his CERA-EPO busting during the 2008 Tour. In February of this year he ended up in the emergency room with kidney failure. He told the ER staff he gave himself a blood transfusion from blood stored in his own refrigerator. Giving oneself an IV can’t be easy but rummaging around your refrigerator for some stored blood, looking in the lettuce drawer, where did I put that old blood? Oh, here it is, is that mayo on there? Shouldn’t this be colder? It boggles the mind.
This award is not exclusively for cheaters but I tend to see them as most deserving. Ricco has earned mention in the past for cheating and being a prick but for this prank I have to nominate him for the 2011 Broken Chain Award.
I don’t really know what to say about Ricco, he is looking at a lifetime ban and possible prison time. The Italians won’t drag this out like the Spanish. Everyone must dislike him and feel sorry for him in nearly equal amounts. I would be insane to think we have seen the last of him but at least we won’t see him racing unless Tchmil steps in.