Duffers beneath contempt

iomweek59.jpgAs a life-long cyclist I find it hard to despise fellow rider and Eurosport commentator David Duffield as I have got to give some respect to a guy who held the End to End trike record. But think back a year or two. Do you remember when he absolutely refused to acknowledge drugs in cycling? He would refer to riders having a bit of bother. Of course in recent years he had a perfect ally in Sean Kelly who has his own reasons for choosing to ignore drug use in cycling. The French version of Willy Voet’s book Breaking the Chain throws some light on Kelly’s reasons for maintaining a steadfast silence.

Can there be any doubt that the conspiracy of silence, of which Duffers was part, has been a major cause of continuing drug use? What incentive was there for the UCI to upset the apple cart while the sport escaped criticism from the media which was happy to go along with the charade. For me the defining moment was Riis’s destruction of Indurain on Hautacam in the 1996 Tour. When a journeyman pro can treat a super champion like Indurain with distain it becomes clear that the results of races are meaningless. And Duffers? He just joined in the worship and praise of Mr 64% without a questioning word.

Now Duffield finds that he is hopelessly swimmimg against the tide, that his head in the sand attitude is losing him his few remaining fans so he is, at long last, gently criticising the dopers. It is too little too late Duffers. You have for more than a decade been part of the problem and you can never be part of the solution. Hand in your microphone and spend your remaining days in your local boring the customers with tales of wine and cheese.


  1. You make a good point Green Jersey — and when I am in Box hill near Bath I will pop in and see Duffers at his Local as I enjoy his talk of cheese and wine and all things not to do with cycling.

    Some of us still love Ya Duffers but Green Jersey makes a good point, I guess my adding to this bother wasn’t warranted so I will end it there and go back to my Burgundy from the Loire valley in France . Did you know that A basin of limestone marl that starts in England runs all the way down through the vineyards of Champagne, the Loire Valley and ultimately Burgundy. It is on this ridge, known as the Kimmeridgian, that the best vineyards lie. The soil varies from hill to hill, but all contain at least some of this limestone clay which is heavy with nutrients from the fossils of shellfish from eons ago.

    The success of the vineyards perched atop this chalky soil has been widely known for centuries. Champagne was famous long before a certain monk put a few bubbles in the bottle by accident. The Grand Crus of Burgundy are separated by walls that date back to monastic times and names that hail from ages gone by. The Grand Cru of Corton-Charlemagne was said to be the said to be the king’s favorite vineyard some 1,200 years ago. The best vineyards of the Loire mix limestone, clay and silica to form a flint and sand mixture known as silex.

    For just as long as they have been famous, attempts have been made to duplicate their successes. It was long thought that quality Pinot Noir could not be produced outside of Burgundy. Tasty sparkling wine is now made in many other parts of the world, but it is not Champagne. The best wines of the Loire Valley still hold a haunting mix of earth, fruit, structure and nuance that is impossible to duplicate elsewhere.

    It is in this spirit that I feel that the Kimmeridgian soil is the most famous and important on earth when it comes to fine wine. The quality, longevity and unique features of this particular blend of limestone and clay have driven the wine world for centuries. Battles have been won and lost, fortunes come and gone, and even nations have been created and remade in the time these wines have been famous. And for that, there is no comparison it’s all a bit like cycling really.


  2. I have a question where have all the trikes gone?

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