Normally I watch all of the Spring Classics when they are broadcast in the States. I feel like it is my duty to boost the viewer numbers so that Versus doesn’t become the TdF network instead of the cycling network (along with bull riding and bass fishing, of course). But this year I just couldn’t make myself watch L-B-L…

On Sunday I headed out for a couple hour ride with a friend who got up and watched a Belgian web-feed live in the morning. He asked if I knew the result and I purposely didn’t. He told me not to waste my time watching because I’d just end up pissed off. “What, did Contador win?” I asked.

“No, worse.”

“Valverde?”

“Worse.”

“If it’s worse than Valverde I have to know. Who won?” I asked.

“Vino.”

“You gotta be F#@^#(&%$%@*(@(#&#%#$#@^@ing kidding me…”

So an unrepentant doper won La Doyenne. And then told everyone that he came back to the sport to show younger riders that you can win clean?

Half of my problem with Vino is that he has never been honest – what gives him credibility now? Especially when he can’t even give a true account of what happened after he was caught doping. He’s said that ‘doping was a mistake in the past, that he has accepted his punishment, served his suspension, and now back to ride clean.’

Unfortunately the facts don’t support even the part about him accepting his punishment, much less showing in any positive way that he working against doping now; he has never admitted to doping in the past and never apologized. The likely reason is that he was never actually sanctioned for doping or actually suspended. He chose to quit the sport instead and the UCI never pushed for a doping trial because he was out of the sport. When he tried to come back to the sport a year later the UCI said that they would pursue doping charges against him to get a 2-year suspension, and once again he side-stepped any accountability by announcing that he would continue as a retired rider…

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