Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Olympic Road Race 2012

Grewal, legally doped to the gills, takes the win ahead of Canadian Steve Bauer.

You can all wave “goodbye” to your Post GT Depression Syndrome, because the Men’s Olympic Road Race is only three days yonder. I don’t typically give two shits about this particular event; while contested by national teams, unlike the Worlds it appears as just another one-day race on a calendar filled with events that carry much more historical and nostalgic significance. What’s worse, it seems the brilliance has faded from the flame of Olympic Spirit – after all, what is an international sports rivalry without the associated political Boggie Dance of Political Superiority? Merckx, I miss the Cold War.

But this time is different. Contested in London over a route that may or may not favor the squat little speed demon Mark Cavendish, the Cycling world has been abuzz about whether his presence on Team Sky alongside Pippi Longstockings implies his impending doom or his certain success – because everyone knows those are the only two possibilities. Be that as it may, the route boasts to be lumpy enough for breakaways or small field sprints, which makes this particular Velominatus, for once, really excited to see what happens. Oh, and as a special request to the riders, if we could keep everyone off the juice this time round, that would be peaches and creame.

With that, check the start list and pretend like that is going to help you make your predictions. Then look at the route and do the same before making a wild guess and hoping you come up good. One-Day VSP rules apply; get your picks in by the time the countdown timer goes to zero and pray for daylight.

Good luck.

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381 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Olympic Road Race 2012”

  1. @Gianni

    @Marcus

    This race was no Tour stage, this was a proper one day race.

    ….with no radio’s.

    Great to see the ‘seniors’ take the race to the end!

  2. @sthilzy I Am not sure radios would have made much of a difference – unless they got ze Germans to start working to bring the bunch back. GB seemed like they were drilling it a long way from home. What else would they have done different with a radio?  They were brought undone by a lack of numbers and no allies

  3. Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

  4. Been pondering this all day. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the result. Veino is what Veino is. I no get to go to work monday and (once again) try to explain to a coworker how it is people that are convicted dopers can continue to participate in the sport.

    While pondering the white line today, I once again really began to wonder about road cycling remaining an olympic sport. I’ll one-up Phil Liggett who recently said mountain biking and BMX aren’t olympic sports; maybe road cycling should be tossed too. No getting around the idea that road cycing is a team sport. And the national teams don’t do anything other than the Olympics and the WOrlds. The Worlds comes around once a year and has it’s own UCI created problems. But the most visible face of professional road cycling (or even amateur road cycling) are trade teams and sponsorship. Who wants to work for a fellow countryman so he can get a better deal than you come contract time? Having all those gold accents on a rival teams member’s bike for 4 years; s/he gets the press, the interviews, and…the attention of sponsors. Money talks.

    And when it comes down to it, isn’t what sport is all about? Money? Especially…the Olympics.

    And yes, this is another post from me that has no point. Where’s the tylenol?

  5. How are the bikes that everyone rides decided?  Specialized’s are all red?  GB except Millar on what?

  6. @eightzero

    Been pondering this all day. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the result. Veino is what Veino is. I no get to go to work monday and (once again) try to explain to a coworker how it is people that are convicted dopers can continue to participate in the sport.

    While pondering the white line today, I once again really began to wonder about road cycling remaining an olympic sport. I’ll one-up Phil Liggett who recently said mountain biking and BMX aren’t olympic sports; maybe road cycling should be tossed too. No getting around the idea that road cycing is a team sport. And the national teams don’t do anything other than the Olympics and the WOrlds. The Worlds comes around once a year and has it’s own UCI created problems. But the most visible face of professional road cycling (or even amateur road cycling) are trade teams and sponsorship. Who wants to work for a fellow countryman so he can get a better deal than you come contract time? Having all those gold accents on a rival teams member’s bike for 4 years; s/he gets the press, the interviews, and…the attention of sponsors. Money talks.

    And when it comes down to it, isn’t what sport is all about? Money? Especially…the Olympics.

    And yes, this is another post from me that has no point. Where’s the tylenol?

    I’ll agree on some points, but disagree on one; the optimist in me thinks that deep down, for any athlete, it’s about the competition. Wether with yourself or against others. The will to win.

    Yes, at the end of the day we all have to put a roof over our heads (some nicer than others), but when we started sport as kids, payday in 15 years wasn’t on our mind. It was the love of the sport and wanting to excel at it. Figuring out that you can get paid comes later.

  7. @G’rilla

    Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

    I was impressed too. Phinney has put together a great year. It’ll be cool seeing him going forward with the chance to be a really great classics rider.

    @eightzero

    Been pondering this all day. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the result. Veino is what Veino is. I no get to go to work monday and (once again) try to explain to a coworker how it is people that are convicted dopers can continue to participate in the sport.

    While pondering the white line today, I once again really began to wonder about road cycling remaining an olympic sport. I’ll one-up Phil Liggett who recently said mountain biking and BMX aren’t olympic sports; maybe road cycling should be tossed too. No getting around the idea that road cycing is a team sport. And the national teams don’t do anything other than the Olympics and the WOrlds. The Worlds comes around once a year and has it’s own UCI created problems. But the most visible face of professional road cycling (or even amateur road cycling) are trade teams and sponsorship. Who wants to work for a fellow countryman so he can get a better deal than you come contract time? Having all those gold accents on a rival teams member’s bike for 4 years; s/he gets the press, the interviews, and…the attention of sponsors. Money talks.

    And when it comes down to it, isn’t what sport is all about? Money? Especially…the Olympics.

    And yes, this is another post from me that has no point. Where’s the tylenol?

    I get what you’re saying though. It almost seems like the race should be run as a team sport; either like le tour’s team GC or the whole team of the podium riders are given medals (i.e. if a basketball team wins gold all members receive the medal, even if they rode the pine for the whole tournament).  Obviously, this opens up some other issues….would all countries represented at the race have to field 5 riders vs the current system where Sagan rode alone or if doing a team GC would the race work better as week long stage race, etc.  I don’t know and frankly, what do I ever know. I do get what you’re saying though.

  8. @eightzero gotta agree with the last part of your comments, the sight of Eisel sitting in behind his Sky team mates with Cav in tow despite the Austrians having no sprinter to talk about was pretty ridiculous.

  9. The poms are hilarious. They call themselves a dream team, tell everyone they are going to ride on the front and Cav will win and then when the plan fails Cav whinges that no one else would help him! Dickhead.

    They still fail to realize after all these years that as long as the Poms don’t win  (and the yanks generally) the rest of the world is pretty happy with the result. I guarantee more Aussies were barracking for Vino than the Douche.

    Any race Vino has been in has been a better race for his presence. He did his time for wrongdoings.

  10. How timely.  While reading the comments above I noticed THIS article in the “Recent & Random Articles” section below.  Curiously, it only received one comment but in light of the characters in the article and all that has played out this season concerning them – namely, Cavendish and the Schlecks – I think the article deserves a re-read.  It seems that perceptions change over the course of three years and also that a “leopard (not a LeOpard) cannot changes its spots”.  What say ye, Fronk?

  11. @Daccordi Rider

    The poms are hilarious. They call themselves a dream team, tell everyone they are going to ride on the front and Cav will win and then when the plan fails Cav whinges that no one else would help him! Dickhead.

    They still fail to realize after all these years that as long as the Poms don’t win  (and the yanks generally) the rest of the world is pretty happy with the result. I guarantee more Aussies were barracking for Vino than the Douche.

    Any race Vino has been in has been a better race for his presence. He did his time for wrongdoings.

    I’m not sure your enjoyment of another nations failure is that healthy. It may be time to move on.

  12. Yes, an Olympic road race structured as a team event would make sense from a sporting point of view. But…there is still an issue with team dynamics, much less selection. For a good look into this, see the movie “Miracle” about how the USA Hockey team was constituted for the 1980 Olympics. “Who do you play for?” Classic.

    What we have in Olympic road cycling now is…meh. Crikey, the only excitement to this race was in that it was *The Olympics*. Sure, generally the best riders all there, but I gotta say there are stages of the Grand Tours that were a buttload more interesting to watch. And dream about riding. While I’m sure the London countryside is a fine ride, who the fuck would give a left nut to ride it? Betcha anyone here could say something different about the Galibier…Aubisque…The Flanders route…l’Aple…Gavia….Stelvio…

  13. @G’rilla

    Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

    And nevertheless infuriates ting to see him looking around like a Hincapie in the final 5 km whe he should have chasing with Gilbert or Gesink to close it down and have a chance for fucking Gold.

     
    I will never in my life understand the mentality where one hedges their bet in order to take third when they could go all in and take gold.
     
    Third is meaningless. The only place that matters is first. The rest is just different grades of losing.

  14. @frank.

    Third is meaningless. The only place that matters is first. The rest is just different grades of losing.

    I think this is the point that Cav missed when assessing the Aussie effort in the race. With Stuey in the break, at least there was a slight chance of getting on the top step (and without radios, how could they have known how much he had left for the finish?). Had they assisted in pulling the sprinters to the line, it would most likely have been to get Gossy first- or second-loser status.

  15. @frank

    @G’rilla

    Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

    And nevertheless infuriates ting to see him looking around like a Hincapie in the final 5 km whe he should have chasing with Gilbert or Gesink to close it down and have a chance for fucking Gold.

    I will never in my life understand the mentality where one hedges their bet in order to take third when they could go all in and take gold.

    Third is meaningless. The only place that matters is first. The rest is just different grades of losing.

    Yes. But this begs the question; you can’t do it alone (or Sagan would have won), so can you as an individual take as much pride in getting your guy to the line as the guy himself (and be happy with 38th for the effort). Or is the only “thing” crossing the line first. Because you know, you can’t do that alone.

    Vino gets gold accents for 4 years. I wouldn’t have guessed that in my most inebriated state.

  16. I like this from the press:

    Landis leads Vinokourov tributes

    Former professional rider Floyd Landis was quick to make light of Vinokourov’s Olympic win. While the Daily Mailcalled the race winner a ‘nobody’ and CBS ran with the headline “Ex-doper Vinokourov wins Olympic road race”, Landis contacted Cyclingnews with the following:

    “If Vino says ‘it’s a victory for clean cycling” he’d be my hero. Alternatively if he said ‘f*** every single mother******* one of you,’ that would work too.”

  17. @frank

    @G’rilla

    Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

    And nevertheless infuriates ting to see him looking around like a Hincapie in the final 5 km whe he should have chasing with Gilbert or Gesink to close it down and have a chance for fucking Gold.

    I will never in my life understand the mentality where one hedges their bet in order to take third when they could go all in and take gold.

    Third is meaningless. The only place that matters is first. The rest is just different grades of losing.

    bullshit Frank. Achieving your best is the measure. Otherwise losers like us wouldn’t try things like your half-arsed little mountain climbs.

  18. @all re the nature of the race

    My £0.02 on Cav’s comments are that’s he’s not as eloquent as David Millar but they’re saying the same thing (Millar isn’t so specific), i.e GB’s plan was well publicised so everyone else’s job was to 1) neutralise the GB effort & 2) win.  Most teams seemed to have a handle on 1) but not 2). That said, perhaps GB should have marked the Nibali group or the combined breakaway group to change the dynamic; it might be fair to say they had no plan B (hindsight is wonderful).  More positively, it’s a massive compliment to GB cycling that they were seen as the team to beat.

    @all re the structure of the race

    Was having the same discussion with the chaps from my club, especially about the medals.  Perhaps, as you’ve suggested, the format of the event should change – must field at least two riders to be a team, hold it over 4 days to test specialisms with a climbing stage, a sprint stage, a one day classic style stage and a team TT.  All team members get medals if the team wins overall but no medals for stages, instead points towards the team win?

  19. @Jonny

    @all re the nature of the race

    My £0.02 on Cav’s comments are that’s he’s not as eloquent as David Millar but they’re saying the same thing (Millar isn’t so specific), i.e GB’s plan was well publicised so everyone else’s job was to 1) neutralise the GB effort & 2) win.  Most teams seemed to have a handle on 1) but not 2). That said, perhaps GB should have marked the Nibali group or the combined breakaway group to change the dynamic; it might be fair to say they had no plan B (hindsight is wonderful).  More positively, it’s a massive compliment to GB cycling that they were seen as the team to beat.

    @all re the structure of the race

    Was having the same discussion with the chaps from my club, especially about the medals.  Perhaps, as you’ve suggested, the format of the event should change – must field at least two riders to be a team, hold it over 4 days to test specialisms with a climbing stage, a sprint stage, a one day classic style stage and a team TT.  All team members get medals if the team wins overall but no medals for stages, instead points towards the t

    @Marcus

    @frank

    @G’rilla

    Impressive to see Phinney finish 4th, and promising to see how disappointed he was to miss the podium. He has the hunger for victory and will hopefully unleash something special in the TT with Cancellara gone.

    And nevertheless infuriates ting to see him looking around like a Hincapie in the final 5 km whe he should have chasing with Gilbert or Gesink to close it down and have a chance for fucking Gold.

    I will never in my life understand the mentality where one hedges their bet in order to take third when they could go all in and take gold.

    Third is meaningless. The only place that matters is first. The rest is just different grades of losing.

    bullshit Frank. Achieving your best is the measure. Otherwise losers like us wouldn’t try things like your half-arsed little mountain climbs.

    I agree Marcus, by that first place only measure, I should simply go in a hole and die. My best is all have have. At my crapbag level this is the most I can hope to attain. But I also agree, with you Frank that if you are there, at the Olympics, then why would you ever play for third.  They stated that Phinney skipped le Tour to train for this moment…..then at least give everything and either win or blow up because at 4th you may as well been 14th or 40th, while knowing you took a real shot at the win.  I’d rather be a glorious loser, imploding in a ball of fire, then a safe 4th….in the imploding scenario I guess I would thus, even with “worse” results, I would’ve achieved my best.  I

  20. Re: first place,

    I think the olympics are the only time when that isn’t true.  Nobody cares who finishes third in Paris-Roubaix, but in the Olympics, third place gets a bronze medal.  That’s a big deal.  Winning an olympic medal of any colour is a big deal.

    Re: Vino,

    I am still a bit surprised at the amount of support he gets around here.  This is a site that is supposed to espouse the virtues of cycling, where people preach the love of the entire culture of the bicycle.  Vino put the sport through some of the darkest days that it has gone through in the modern era.  His actions made much of the world give up on the sport and decide that it was basically horse racing, where the best-doped animal won the race.  I can’t forgive him for that, and as much as he rode a great race, I just really wish almost anyone else had won.  Now let’s hope he doesn’t test positive….

  21. @cantona

    Disagree.Speaking of cycling I would take Paris-Roubaix third over some fucking bronze medal in the Olympics on some course in England any fucking day.You gotta be kidding though.We’re talking cycling and Paris-Roubaix is what it is.Bronze on the Olympics is good enough for some cycling fans in GB who jumped on racing for the trend of it and don’t know where Kazakhstan is and blame the whole world for not winning.

    Plus Vino got caught and that’s it.Bad fucking luck.You think if the winner was someone who never got caught it would somehow be more worthy?

  22. @TommyTubolare

    First off, I’m not English, nor do I live anywhere in GB, so let’s get past that bit.

    Second, I too would prefer third in PR to a bronze, but what I meant to say is that there is an award for third in the olympics and that’s a big deal.

    Third, yes, I think it’s a better win if won by a non-doper.  If we disagree there, so be it.

    Now calm down and enjoy your sunday.

  23. @cantona

    I’m calm and I never said you were English however I’m perfectly fine if you are.It’s about cycling and not where you from.I didn’t answer to challenge you but to point out that in your post PR looks like a joke race which it isn’t.Since you also prefer third in PR I really don’t understand your post and your overreaction.Lovely Sunday likewise.

  24. @Cyclops it has nothing to do with Bauer’s second place either. Gaywal was just the superdouche of the era.

    @Dan_R

    All I know is I can’t stand that picture grewal ahead of Bauer…..

    It looks gheyer than two cocks touching.

  25. @cantona

    Re: first place,

    I think the olympics are the only time when that isn’t true.  Nobody cares who finishes third in Paris-Roubaix, but in the Olympics, third place gets a bronze medal.  That’s a big deal.  Winning an olympic medal of any colour is a big deal.

    Re: Vino,

    I am still a bit surprised at the amount of support he gets around here.  This is a site that is supposed to espouse the virtues of cycling, where people preach the love of the entire culture of the bicycle.  Vino put the sport through some of the darkest days that it has gone through in the modern era.  His actions made much of the world give up on the sport and decide that it was basically horse racing, where the best-doped animal won the race.  I can’t forgive him for that, and as much as he rode a great race, I just really wish almost anyone else had won.  Now let’s hope he doesn’t test positive….

    Think it is pretty selective to lay the blame of cycling’s “darkest days” at Vino’s feet. He had a lot of company. Seems like he gets pilloried more than most because of his demeanour and because of his successful comeback. Trust you were similarly aggrieved when Virenque won his later dots, when Millar won races (of far lesser stature than his doping days), when Basso won the 2010 Giro, etc etc?

    I would prefer a racer who does what he does on the road (keep in mind everything you ever hear from Vino is translated – and he aint an effusive guy) rather than a loudmouth ex-doper who only found a conscience once when he was caught (yes, Millar).

    In my experience, this site is pretty agnostic about doping – you need to take all riders at face value unless they are caught – otherwise you may as well stop watching.

    And yes, Merckx tested positive and never apologised either. So there’s that to think about.

  26. @eightzero

    What we have in Olympic road cycling now is…meh. Crikey, the only excitement to this race was in that it was *The Olympics*. Sure, generally the best riders all there, but I gotta say there are stages of the Grand Tours that were a buttload more interesting to watch.

    Personally I loved the race for the lack of race radios.  I woke up at 3 am to watch it live and see what the likes of Faboo and Gilbert were going to try.  Start to finish I loved it.  The fact that every rider to the man said how hard the race was is proof to me that race radios have ruined racing.  Nobody knew who was where and they all cooked as a result.  Who the f*** wants to watch 4+ hours of racing knowing that a bunch sprint is a near guarantee.  Give me a solid argument that race radios improve the race from the fans point of view.

    The only beny I can see is that pros can manage their effort to the utmost with radios.  Or you have a secret man crush for the Cavster.  How many TDF stage wins would Cav actually have without race radios.  I had been gaining respect for the man but after his whining after the race (blah blah how come everyone doesn’t want me to win)… what a twat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a strong sprint finish as much as anyone, it’s just the formula w/radios that annoys.   How many more stage wins would Cipo have had if breakaways had been controlled by radios.  Other than Germany, I thought the other teams had tactics spot on.  Who is going to contribute to a bunch sprint knowing Cav is gonna win 8/10 times.  Pure gold I thought.

  27. Just to clarify, I’m not calling you out on these points @eightzero.  Just that I thought the race was great regardless of the winner.

  28. @pakrat

    Just to clarify, I’m not calling you out on these points @eightzero.  Just that I thought the race was great regardless of the winner.

    Not to worry. Opinion is all good. VLVV.

  29. @pakrat His “whinging” is entirely correct though! Those countries sitting back waiting for GB to implode didn’t win the race either. I would have thought a bit of effort from a few nations would have been warranted to put them in with a shot too. Although I do see it from that point of view too I can completely understand Cav wishing things had been different, so I don’t see it as whinging just as him wearing his heart on his sleeve like he always does. Pretty hard to be too magnanimous at the end of a race in which your dreams and the hopes of a nation have been crushed, and the emotions are so raw.

  30. @meursault

    @Daccordi Rider

    The poms are hilarious. They call themselves a dream team, tell everyone they are going to ride on the front and Cav will win and then when the plan fails Cav whinges that no one else would help him! Dickhead.

    They still fail to realize after all these years that as long as the Poms don’t win  (and the yanks generally) the rest of the world is pretty happy with the result. I guarantee more Aussies were barracking for Vino than the Douche.

    Any race Vino has been in has been a better race for his presence. He did his time for wrongdoings.

    I’m not sure your enjoyment of another nations failure is that healthy. It may be time to move on.

    Nah, if we don’t barrack based on petty jealousy, ill informed opinion, spite and personal preference all it would be is a group of people sitting around saying “jolly good show chaps, best man won, better luck next time”. Boring.

  31. @Oli  But why single out the Aussies? Of course they didn’t chase, with Stuey up the road.  Or, for that matter, any other teams who already had credible people up the road (and no chance of beating Cav in a bunch gallop)? There is a huge difference between Cav’s way of whingeing and Millar’s way of expressing entirely understandable disappointment. And let’s not forget that GB had a team of six, thanks to Bermie. That’s hardly cricket, is it?

  32. Couple of quotes from Stuey, telling it how it is as usual.

    “O’Grady called his day in London “one of the rides of my life” according to The Age. At 38-years-old this would be his final Olympics and he wanted to go out with a bang.

    “That was one of the rides of my life. Today was going to be my last Olympic appearance and I wanted to go all in, the people of London out there today, that was the most incredible [experience] I have ever had in my life …without my wife,” he said.

    From the moment the breakaway left the uninterested peloton, O’Grady was seen talking with his companions, using his vast experience to ensure the pace was controlled and that everyone remained motivated for the task that lay ahead.

    “I was telling the guys last night, ‘without radios, most of those blokes are just sheep. They haven’t got a director telling them what to do.’ They are at the Olympics. I was using a bit of experience and keeping them motivated,” he said.”

    The Australian team’s unwillingness to chase O’Grady flared up at the finish with Mark Cavendish questioning their approach. O’Grady added that race radios and smaller teams of five had set the tone for the majority of the race action but gently reminded the listening press that no team were going to gift Cavendish with an easier ride.

    “It’s like one day cricket and test cricket, it’s two completely different games. You’ve got the Great Britain team saying they’ve pre-written the history books before this race, so of course who wants to come to the finish with Cav? Everyone has the occasion to get a result for themselves in the Olympics, which a lot of the smaller countries, and domestique guys don’t get very often, so it was the rest of the world versus Cav and Great Britain. They can calculate and do statistics, and whatever, but at the end of the day it’s a bike race. You get the right combination of guys out in front and it doesn’t matter who you’ve got behind, it’s going to be very hard to bring back but that’s the gamble they took. That’s bike racing, that’s why we love it.”

     

  33. @G’phant Fair point about singling out the Aussies (although with all due respect O’Grady was never going to win and the Aussies knew that), but perhaps that’s because the Germans helped a little bit and he saw it as a race between himself, Greipel and Goss. My real point is that everyone jumps on whatever Cavendish says in the aftermath of a race. Of course sometimes he says the wrong thing in the disappointment, but that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a bad person. If I had the form he had and the intense pressure of an entire Nation (and most of the rest of the world!) expecting a win I’m not sure I would comport myself perfectly after failing.

  34. @Oli

    @G’phant with all due respect O’Grady was never going to win and the Aussies knew that

    Agreed. A rider that old and clearly close to retirement had no chance of winning this race.

  35. Firstly, I’ve been in Hobart away from the internet for a few days, so first thing I can say is,

    Thanks English taxpayer for the biggest laugh ever at the opening ceremony.

    Boo hiss to Veino. Look left to check on the bunch then swing 10 metres across the road? I hope Veino keeps his promise for whatever he told Uran he could have.

    Cav’s only chance was to bridge the gap and write his name in the record books. His fault he didn’t do that, not the Aussies. If Jack Bauer can get into the bunch, then WTF?

  36. Vinokourov’s letter in full:

    “While reading the press comments regarding my last victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege I was deeply saddened. I don’t understand this persecution against me.

    I can’t do anything against the doubts hanging over me since the 2007 case, but I reject all the accusations brought against me today, without any evidence. Since my return in August, I have always been honest with the press, I responded to all requests for interviews, I have hidden nothing.

    Ironically, my victory in Liège seems to revive old jealousies for which I am not responsible. The media comments contrast with the hundreds of congratulatory messages from fans that I keep getting on my website and my Facebook page. I don’t understand this discrepancy.

    As if I had to be forbidden of success on my bike to leave everyone with a clear conscience. In which sport are we allowed to be at the start of a competition without the right to win?

    I love cycling, it gave me everything and I want to give it good things in return. I paid two years on suspension for the dark years of my career. If I repeated that I didn’t want to talk about it, it’s only for the sake of my sport. I don’t think cycling needs to reconsider all these dirty stories to move forward. This is my personal vision of this problem, everybody is not obliged to share it. Obviously my attitude that I consider the most correct and most respectful way possible is one more time misinterpreted. I’m sorry.

    Again, I have nothing to hide. Since my come back I have been the subject of more than 30 doping tests, all negatives, including 21 in the context of the Adams [the whereabouts system]. This allows me to validate my biological passport and therefore to race. In Tenerife, where I had my recent training before the Tour of Trentino that arose the indignation of some journalists, I was subject to two unannounced blood and urine tests in two weeks. I can’t do more than what the sport regulations ask me, to prove my honesty.

    Today, I only wish to be respected as I respect everyone, my colleagues in the peloton as well as the journalists. I don’t want to be the only and too easy target for all the ills of cycling.”

    Alexandre Vinokourov

    Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/3938/Alexandre-Vinokourov-An-open-letter-to-the-cycling-community.aspx#ixzz2260wxJi5

  37. At least Vino has retired and we won’t have to put up with four years of gold bling hanging off his bike and kit for a one day race!

  38. So I’ve lurked for a while here, and I thought this would be a good place to first post as this is really the first road race I’ve been able to watch start to finish.

    I have a question about GB’s tactics here. If they had 5 guys, why near the end of this race did they not go with the second breakaway group? They were all up at the front, and knew there was a dozen or so racers up ahead. With the last lap of Box Hill coming and another 40k(?) or so to go, why would they need another team to go with them if they all said “Ok lads, this is it!” and took off with the second chase?

  39. @Oli

    @Blah Haha! Touche!

    Was hoping you’d like it. So very much wanted to Stuey to win or get a medal. Oh well, he’s done that and been there, if not on the road (don’t think he’d trade his cobble for it, either). Easily my favourite rider since I started watching road cycling back in the nineties.

  40. One over-arching comment -Monday morning quarterbacking on race tactics is an argument without answer.Which is why it is good fun.

    Secondly – this talk of Stuey never being a chance is crazy. He was there and he has the smarts and a pretty decent all rouNd set of legs. He was as good a chance as many others. And this brings me to my real point – imagine if the Aussies had joined the chase, Cav had wonand Goss finished out of the medals. You would have had people like me ripping into the Aussies about chasing down our greatest ever rider etc etc.

  41. Yes, yes. All you Aussies can put down your righteous umbrage. Of course Stuey could have won, and I was wrong to say he couldn’t. Hopefully my ill-considered comments don’t detract from my actual point, which is that Cavendish isn’t a wanker cunt just because he spouted off again.

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