Archive for January, 2010
Riccardo Ricco’s babymother Vania Rossi who tested positive for Cera at the Italian cyclo cross championship on 10th January has declared her innocence. As “evidence” she says she would not dope as she is breast feeding her baby son who was born in July and would not endanger the child’s welfare.
I am dumbstruck.
L.A. at TDU 2009
Last year I was contacted by an occasional poster, Wislon of West Lancashire, who expressed the view that Lance Armstrong was sitting lower on his bike than in pre-comeback days. Oh really Wislon I thought, I can just see a perfectionist like Armstrong getting the basics wrong. I replied politely about his “interesting” observation and forgot about it.
Wislon didn’t though and he has now sent me this recent quote from Johan Bruyneel. What can I say? Respect Wislon.
“His position looks good right now. He’s currently looking very, very differently on the bike and he feels a lot better,” said Bruyneel. “There’s quite a bit of difference. Last year his seat height was a lot lower and we don’t really know why, he’d kind of lost all the references of earlier on [in his career]. Since the 2009 Tour de France finished we have started to work on his position and it’s a bit different but I think the biggest difference people see is he’s a lot smaller. His upper body is very different.”
Membership of the Flemish Cycling Union (VWB) has continued its remarkable increase from 28,485 in 2007, 40,508 in 2008 followed by a 48 % increase to 60,132 in 2009. With a doubling of membership in just two years the VWB is the fastest growing sports federation in Belgium.
Werner Ingelgem of the VWB commented “Cycling in recent years become a lifestyle phenomenon. Everyone wants to stay slim and healthy and wants a young, sporty image and cycling is eminently suitable. For ladies and seniors the social relationships during and after the bike ride are important and younger men enjoy the flexibility.”
Perhaps taking his cue from Harriet Harperson he continued ” the working class has remained but we now have many VIPs, politicians and businessmen as members. Furthermore the word “Flandrien” is an honorary epithet that inspires many. Or as Gordon Brown would put it a sport for the many not the few!
As De Ronde fever mounts it is impossible not to be infected. This year the race will be particularly poignant as it will be held on the sixth anniversary of the death of “The last of the Flandriens” “Iron” Brik Schotte. With such a history it is perhaps not surprising that Flandriens are getting on their bikes in record numbers.