Before I say anything else I'd just like to clarify the meaning behind the title of yesterday's post. After reading the comments yesterday I think a lot of people took it the wrong way. I didn't mean "it's over" for Floyd. I mean that the wait was over. The worrying, the wondering, the guessing was over.
I don't feel at all that yesterday's decision marks the end for Floyd. His intelligence, passion and integrity, coupled with the support of his incredible friends and family, are going to serve him well as he moves into this next chapter of his life. And I have no doubt that he is going to continue to inspire us - it just won't be from the seat of a bike for a while.
Paula, from TBV, asked that I post a link to their information on the Hoist a Glass to Floyd initiative which is now more relevant than ever. Take a look.
It was so great to read all of the comments here yesterday. I loved the reference that, I think Waddy made, to it being like a wake. As soon as I read the verdict yesterday my first feeling was deep sadness, but I was immediately buoyed by the knowledge that I would have all of my fellow Inane Asylum residents to get through this with.
So, now what? Floyd may appeal to the CAS but really, what are the chances of anything changing there? The UCI has already proclaimed Oscar Pereiro as the winner of the 2006 Tour. I saw that some folks here think that he doesn't deserve it. If I recall, someone even called him a big whiney baby.
As many of you know, I have had mixed feelings about Oscar over the past year. At times I've felt that people were too hard on him. He didn't ask to come in second to a rider who subsequently became the first winner of the Tour to fail a doping test. Whatever you think about their personalities, or the sound bites that they give to the media, these guys all work ridiculously hard. They sacrfice and suffer every day to get where they are and I don't think that any of us is in a position to say that anyone who can complete the Tour de France doesn't deserve to win it.
So, I was with Kathleen a bit yesterday in sort of feeling that it would be tough for Oscar to deal with the media crush now and have to win the tour by default. But then I read about his interview with Radio Marca, and what was Oscar's reaction to yesterday's verdict? He would like to receive official documentation "witnessed by notary public" of his win. He feels that this would help make up for all that he has lost in not being able to enjoy the win on the cobbles of Paris. Way to take the high road Oscar. Now, I know that often something is lost in the translation of these interviews, but something tells me that this one was pretty straight forward. And while I still give him great credit for his abilities as a rider, I think he's an ass.
In other Caisse d'Epargne news, UCI President Pat McQuaid obviously read my post the other day about putting up or shutting up and has come out and challenged Valverde to prove his innocence by submitting his DNA for comparison to the OP blood bags and end the matter once and for all. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with the idea that the burden of proof should be on the accused. I still think that if the UCI is so sure that he's dirty, they should be the ones to come up with some evidence. However, given the fact that the World's are looming ahead and that Valverde's career is on the line here, I think this challence from McQuaid poses a great opportunity for Valverde to clear his name and end the speculation. Again, I'm not saying it's the right way, I'm just saying that that the clock is ticking and this is a chance to end the debate.
But Valverde won't submit his DNA. Perhaps that's because he's philosophically opposed to the idea that he would have to prove his innocence. Perhaps.
So, instead, a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be held Wednesday in Switzerland to determine whether or not Valverde will ride for Spain at the World's.
The Canadian Cycling Association announced their lineup for the World's yesterday. The team will consist of Svein Tuft (road race and time trial), Cam Evans (road race), Ryder Hesjedal (time trial), Dominique Rollin (road race) and Andrew Randell (reserve - road race). All fabulous riders and I can't wait to see how they do in Stuttgart.
And Larry, thanks for mentioning the interview with former Canadian road racer Genevieve Jeanson. I give Jeanson great credit for coming out and telling her story. You can read about her interview at Canadian Cyclist.
Phew, lots to talk about today. And I didn't even get into Tom Boonen being out of the World's and officially ending his season. Unlike Oscar Pereiro I'm going to take the high road and resist the urge to make any comment about his mommy or the kissing of boo-boos.
Get better soon Tom.