Spoke too soon

Ok, so yesterday I was speculating on whether it would be Basso first and Ullrich second, or maybe the other way round on the podium in Paris. I didn’t really think there could be any other result.

Now it turns out that neither of them is going to be there. Ullrich, Basso, and a host of other top riders have all been suspended because of the Operacion Puerto busts.

It makes you wonder if there are any clean riders left. It also makes you wonder about the heroes of the past, which is the saddest part.

Le Tour!

The prologue is this Saturday, and then the real separations in the standings start with the first major time trial a week after that. First mountain stage is on the 12th. First mountain top finish is the day after. L’Alpe D’Huez is the 18th, starting three days of hell, and then another individual time trial. Can’t wait.

The course this year was designed to have fewer mountains and put more emphasis on overall performance – I’m surprised they didn’t do this the last couple of years before because having the race decided almost entirely on HC climbs favoured Armstrong over Ullrich, and as much as the French press and public hates the Germans, they hated Armstrong more. (Of course the organizers loved Armstrong because he brought the tour a lot more attention and money.)

So the question on my mind is whether Basso burned himself out winning the Giro, or whether his time trialing has improved to the point where he can not lose too much time to Ullrich or even beat him against the clock. He’s certainly got a monster team around him – Julrich, Zabrieski, Voigt, Sastre – and they’re not going to split their attention between the GC and the sprint points like they have in the past.

The other big question is the current doping scandal, and which teams it will touch. There was even some rumours flying that Ullrich might be caught up in it. Of course, it being Tour season, Greg Le Mond showed what an attention whore he is by making his annual spate of crazy accusations against Lance Armstrong, including accusing him of being an attention whore. Looked in a mirror much, Greg? Armstrong said it best on the Daily Show when he said that he figures he’s going to be dealing with these accusations for the rest of his life.

Well, I’ve got the season pass on the TiVo, the cyclingnews.com “live” site bookmarked on my Treo, and I’m all set.

Magic dime

The drink machine wasn’t taking my dollar, so I put it in the snack machine instead and hit the coin return. I got back three quarters and a dime. Damn thing ripped me off. Oh, oh, that means that I’m going to have to explain that it ripped me off to Paula in the cafeteria, and she’s more than a little bit slow. It also means that I’m 15 cents short for the drink I want. Rob is standing there, and he hands me 15 cents. I start feeding money in the drinks machine, and as I’m feeding in some of the dimes, suddenly the amount showing on the display jumped up by 25 cents! Evidently, there was something about that dime that made both machines treat it like a quarter. Weird.

I’m ready to give up on trying to work with this guy

Back in March, I wrote about a miscommunication between me and the MC for the Lance. Well, since that time, he has never told me what’s going on with the plane. I see it get scheduled for maintenance, but he never tells me why. I asked him what’s going to happen about the prop overhaul, and he didn’t answer me. This weekend, the guy who had the Lance booked for the weekend wrote to the club list to say that it was available, but if anybody wanted it, it was still out at Batavia. I asked and he said it was out there for an oil change. I guess the MC took the plane out without informing me, and without asking if I could help ferry the plane, or anything. And I don’t dare do something to get the plane back, because if he’s made other arrangements he’ll throw another fit if I get there first.

I’m on the verge of sending him this letter, (cc’ed to the VP of Maintenance) but I’m going to sit on it overnight first.

Dear Bill;

Since I’ve become AMC for the Lance, I feel like either you don’t want an AMC or you just don’t want me to be your AMC. You never communicate with me, you never tell me what is going on, and even when I ask you a direct question (like when I asked about the prop leak), you rarely if ever answer. You have grounded the Lance several times without telling me what was going on, either before or after. You have never asked me for help ferrying the plane, even when people are sending messages to the mailing list saying “the Lance is at Batavia if you want it”. The only function you have allowed me to perform is to pass information on to you, while never getting any information back. As AMC, I feel like my functions could be better performed by your answering machine.

I signed on as AMC so that I could help in the maintenance of the aircraft, and also so that I could be a useful to you and to all the other Lance pilots in the club. Since I am not getting that opportunity, I am resigning as AMC. I hope you can find another volunteer if you want one.