|What in the name of fuck is that on your face?|
The UCI's recent report and crackdown on doping, and in particular motorized doping, takes me back to 2004 when this guy was ranting and raving on the sidewalk in front of our condos about the whole fraud of the thing. Funny that in the same conversation, he named Hesjedal as a doper. Which, of course, he was.
In September of last year, that's just 8 months ago, the whole Hesjedal motorized doping thing came to light at the Vuelta (or half light I guess you might say) - and, once again, it looked like Hesjedal was going to finally go down in flames as a cheater. For whatever reason, that didn't pan out. And I'm not going to use this blog as a place to debate the conspiracy theory or the physics of motorized doping, nor do I wish to beat the mostly dead horse that is Ryder Hesjedal, but I will link you to the footage and the discussion on the matter and - you know - make your own conclusions.
I'm only about half-interested in whether Hesjedal was using a motor in his bike that day. I mean, if it's true then I'd like to know that he did it and see him booted for good. Again, the UCI's recent report is pretty telling, and I don't think they'd be memorializing their policy for banning riders and fining teams for motorized doping unless it was actually a problem. What I'm more interested in is that, in September 2014, people were really surprised and sort of in disbelief that motors might exist in the pro peloton; but no one was surprised in the least that Hesjedal might be cheating. No, indeed, if there was one guy who would be doing it - it was Hesjedal.
And yet, here we are 8 months later, the Giro D'Italia is kicking off, Hesjedal's integrity is now only more questionable with the recent legitimization of motorized doping, and Hesjedal is not only in the race - but he's the stated and protected team leader for our U.S. team, Cannondale. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and justice will have been served, but no, there he is. Again, I have no idea if there was actually a motor in his bike or not - but given his dubious history and complete disconnect from reality, it's just hard to wrap ones mind around continuing to let this guy be the face of your team. Velonews runs about an article per week on Ryder, his commentary on the Giro and the status of the race, etc. That's normal - he's the team leader - if media coverage is what you provide, then talk to him you must. But, Jesus, it's just not that plausible. Why does anyone care what the fuck Ryder has to say? Give me Joe D. or Ben King or any of the up and comers on the team that are grinding it out, every day, trying to make it clean - and I'll read, and support, and watch the race, and root my ass off - and more important to the future of the sport, I'll buy it. But Hesjedal, motorized doping or not, is a part of the past that pro cycling would be better off forgetting, because no one is buying that shit any more.
|And for certain, no one is buying those sunglasses.|
In a timely way, the iniquities of the Patriots and Tom Brady make for a great parallel to all of this. 4 games and $1million, plus they lose some draft picks. That's a pretty stern punishment, as far as the NFL goes, and it's worth noting I suppose that the Pats are repeat offenders in a very familiar marginal-gains kind of way. I mean, shit, it's just a little air in the football, right? How much difference could that really make? They BLEW OUT the Colts, 45 - 7. Similarly, that's part of the argument against the existence of motors in cycling's pro ranks - that it would be tough to hide something that really only produces a tiny gain in performance, so why do it? But, as we've seen in Team Sky's gigantic, motorized, marginal gains Richie Porte Mobile, every little bit counts. I don't think a motor in a hub that could produce an extra 5 watts for 30 seconds when it counts is insignificant, and if you think pros aren't willing to cheat to get it then review the history of sports in general.
It's like watching a UFO sighting captured on shaky home video. It's hard to tell, right? Science and experts discredit the thing outright.
But you know what you saw.
Up, up, up.