Monday, March 9, 2015

The Hubbard - 9th March 2015 - CIRC CIRC CIRC, CIRC is the Word

The Hubbard is Tourdecouch's lighter look at the world of pro cycling, with a bit of news curation on the side


The Hubbard can't slowly move another inch without mentioning the Cycling Independent Reform Commission Report.

Here is footage of the report arriving at the UCI on Friday, 6th March 2015.

Prior to publishing the report, UCI President Brian Cookson warned stakeholders it was "uncomfortable" reading. This is Great British for "ouch, it's going to hurt like a bastard." For example, "When I gave birth to my child, it was uncomfortable."   

The UCI used the weekend probably to peruse and redact:

And this was the final report delivered to us:

The main conclusions/suggestions from the CIRC report:
  • cortisone use is widespread among the peloton and TUEs are misused in both the women's and the men's peloton
  • riders are experimenting with painkillers, weight loss drugs and other stuff that is leading to depression, eating disorders and crashes
  • pro riders worry about EPO'd up MAMILs and MAFILs and don't like riding fondos for that reason. They prefer fondos where they can ride with Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie.
  • many journalists etc were either shit scared of Lance suing them, or in awe of him, and therefore gave him a free ride
  • Chris Froome is the only current rider that allowed his name to be published. Everyone else who spoke to CIRC remained anonymous
  • testing is easy to evade
  • the riders need a union

So what next?  Pretty much SNAFU:
  1. It's a new era. Some DS' and managers who rode &/or managed before 2007 (or any other year you  prefer that helps you feel OK about following your favourite team and rider) are bad.
  2. It's a new era. Some DS' and managers who rode &/or managed before 2007 are vocal about anti doping and are good.
  3. Current non Astana riders are good.
  4. UCI structure and processes still need some work.
  5. Zero tolerance only works when you don't have races to win.

Just take a look among the first five place getters at Strade Bianche - a cloud over Greg van Avermaet, Valverde needs no introduction, and an Astana rider. Even so, Froome said he still believes, he has to believe. After all, Team Sky is standing by Knaven. Oh, and Nibali isn't worried about the Astana licence.

You just have to believe enough:

Other news

- Europe - cycling's playground?

We hear over and over again how everything is better in Europe when it comes to sharing the road. Yet, on the eve of Strade Bianche, where teams were recce'ing the roads - and have done around the same time of year for the last eight years - Brent Brookwalter captured this image

 - No TV Coverage of women's cycling: problem sorted

- Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish race on despite sickness

How they got through

The Stackhat

As an 80s Aussie kid, we all know what a Stackhat is. If we didn't know it then, we would grow up to know it just was not cool. Quoting from Wikipedia "The sturdy Stackhat was designed to emphasise safety over aerodynamics. Its appearance was more like something a crash test dummy would wear than an elite cyclist." 

That's true no more!

That's it! The Hubbard leaves you with a love song dedication for Team Sky

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