Di Luca Confidential

Di Luca Confidential

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I’ve been a fan of Danilo Di Luca a long time, and to tell the truth, was much more suspect of Menchov’s performance at the Giro than I was of Di Luca’s; Menchov rode the last few days of the Giro like it was a Sunday spin, while Di Luca seemed to visibly tire with each attack.  It’s always a shame when a rider I like tests positive.

I’m realistic enough not to be very surprised when riders fail a dope test.  But, to be honest, it’s shocking to me that riders are still taking a substance they know can be tested for; as Di Luca himself has pointed out, riders have been falling like flies for positive CERA tests – how could anyone be so cavalier as to take those drugs where there are countless drugs and methods that can’t be tested for?

I really enjoyed the Giro this year.  For me, whether or not the riders were doping doesn’t retroactively take away from the spectacle four months ago; what bothers me is when a rider rides so well during the race that it spoils the race while you’re watching it – like Contador’s performance at the Tour this year.

Then there’s the ubiquitous proclamation of innocence when the positive test comes back.  “I didn’t do it!  I didn’t take anything! I don’t even know what EPO is!”  You have to hand it to Di Luca for creativity in reusing an 11 year old story:

I will return soon, but I’m beginning to think there’s a plot.  I just can’t find an explanation for the two positive results in the Giro d’Italia.

Ten years ago, in the height of the EPO Glory Days, Pantani was singled out and busted during the Giro.  Given the circumstances at the time, he was right to talk about a possible conspiracy; we know now that nearly every rider to swing a leg over a bike during that era was drinking jet fuel for breakfast and there is little reason to think he was doing anything different than anyone else.

I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe one explanation Di Luca could find for the two positive tests could be all that CERA he injected himself with?  I’m probably wrong.  That’s probably not it.

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  1. Anecdotally, to me anyways, it seems like the riders with the most tortured looks are the ones who get busted for doping. Di Luca’s anguished face typified the Giro this year, Vino looked like toast in 07 at TdF, Rasmussen looked smooth on the bike but his face sometimes told a different story. Contrast that with the typically stoic faces of the Schlecks (mostly Andy), Contador, and Lance (don’t start) who don’t dope or at least haven’t been caught. Maybe I’m spitballing too. Just an observation.

  2. @Marko
    Similarly, I’ve also watched riders’ behavior on the podium and right after a stage; it seems to me that a lot of guys who end up getting caught are not as elated on the podium as those who don’t…almost like they feel guilty about something. I don’t know if that’s real or not, but it seems like it might be.

    Did you notice how Landis seemed to be dragging his feet to go into the anti dope control after that epic stage in 2006? After having watched him drink about 300 water bottles during the stage, I remember thinking, “Hm, why is he stalling?” I would be in a panic to take a wizz after drinking all that water. Sure enough, he famously tested positive.

    But don’t start me on that either, because that whole case was shit.

  3. I’d panic’d b/c I’d have been worried the cup they gave me would be too small and over-runneth.

    On an unrelated note to this post, but related to the tall guy one: Last week I put some FSA Carbon K-force bars on my bike. After reading your suggestions on lowering them, and feeling they were a bit high anyway, I orded the K-force stem today. Both bars and stem will replace my older Deda Elementi. When the stem comes I’ll trim the steer tube, take out some spacers, and lower the whole bit down. I hope your plan works for me b/c once I cut that steer tube they ain’t no going back.

  4. @Marko
    Nice stem!! Well played, sir.

    I would tread carefully at first; put the spacers on the top of the stem for a while until you’re sure about it, although I think you’ll like it. Let me know how it goes! My guess is you’ll have that stem slammed down on the headset. Also, when you do cut the steer tube, leave enough room to allow a 5mm spacer to sit on top of the stem. That gives the stem a solid chunk of steerer to hold onto.

  5. Will do, if it works. I tried that set-up with the Deda that’s on there now and it wiggled. There’s nothing more annoying that headset/fork wiggle to me. The FSA K-force is much beefier though so perhaps it’ll grab better.

  6. And speaking of doping and Floyd, there’s a post on the Radioshack team site about Floyd possibly riding for that team.

  7. @Marko
    It should not wiggle. Not only is that annoying, it will ruin your headset and you will inevitably die a horrible and annoying death.

    I have been underwhelmed by Floyd’s return. I think we can probably all agree he’s been clean this season!

  8. Oh, it won’t wiggle. What, not a team OUCH fan.

  9. @Marko
    Team OUCH presented by Maxipad? No, not a fan so far. They have to do something cool for me to become a fan.

  10. Let’s bring this into the double-digits.

    Di Luca still riding strong a few years late. Huh. Makes you wonder about the residual effect on the body of doping.

    Also, how about the crazy new drug that a few guys have been nabbed for, the one with just letters and numbers for a name. Damn, talk about winning at any cost.

  11. @Ron

    I think that since they train on the juice and use things like HGH, they build musculature that has a permanent effect.

  12. Di Luca busted again for EPO today. This time he may be gone for good, he was already given one-too-many chances to “come back”

  13. @Ron

    Let’s bring this into the double-digits.

    Di Luca still riding strong a few years late. Huh. Makes you wonder about the residual effect on the body of doping.

    Also, how about the crazy new drug that a few guys have been nabbed for, the one with just letters and numbers for a name. Damn, talk about winning at any cost.

    somewhat prescient comment this…

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