Archive for July, 2008

Ricco says EPO test needs tightening!

Riccardo Ricco has admitted to the Italian Olympic Committee that he used EPO and has surrendered his right to have the B sample tested. In a surprising move he complained that the testing procedure needs more work saying that only two of his ten tests had returned a positive result! As I understand it Ricco thought that the new style EPO was undetectable and  presumably he felt no need to use the usual anti-detection methods and yet it would seem there is a only a one in five chance of being caught.  He  is  not wrong  that  more  work  is  needed.

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The unlamented death of UCI ProTour

While the riders use the rest day to take a recovery ride the managers of the seventeen teams present at the Tour together with the three Grand Tour organisers used their day off to kill the ProTour series. Greenjersey welcomes this development. There are two reasons why I was not a fan of the series. Firstly I hated the way top riders would ride the season ending Tour of Lombardy not to win but to preserve their ProTour lead. We have enough of that tosh in the three week tours (step forward Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov) without it ruining the Monuments of the sport. Secondly I could never see the sense in forcing teams such as the old Kelme squad or Euskaltel to ride Paris-Roubaix just so they could pack at the first feed while smaller, better suited, teams were denied a ride.

As my old mum used to say, good riddance to bad rubbish!

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The sad and avoidable death of Rhiannon Bennett

Most English cyclists will be aware of the tragic death of 17 year old Rhiannon Bennett from injuries sustained when she was knocked over by Jason Howard, a cyclist. Miss Bennett was standing with a group of friends when Howard approached riding at an estimated seventeen mph. He shouted “move, because I’m not stopping” apparently making no attempt to swerve or slow down.  He hit her with sufficient force to knock her over  and her head struck the pavement.

Not surprisingly most people, including club cyclists, are amazed that Howard, who was charged with dangerous cycling, received only a £2200 fine. A police spokesman has, however, revealed that Ms Bennett “was probably a few inches or a foot into the road.” That is precisely where Howard, and all other cyclists, is supposed to be, as near to the gutter as possible.

Why Jason Howard behaved in such an incredibly stupid and reckless way only he can say.  It would seem though that this was not, as reported, a fatal battle in the war between cyclists and pedestrians over the use of pavements. I would only remind readers of the facts. Last year 136 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads and a further 2428 seriously injured. In the same year the number of pedestrians and motorists killed by cyclists was one. I will continue to ride on the pavement but I shall keep an eye on the statistics and if the odds ever look more favouable I will then ride “responsibly” and stick to the road.

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