Thursday, September 14, 2006
Frankie Andreu, working for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), in front
of the Château de Compiègne before the 2004 Paris-Roubaix
2006 Pete Geyer)
American Frankie Andreu, formerly with the Motorola, Cofidis and U.S.
Postal Pro Cycling teams, recently admitted to using EPO "a couple of times"
during his career. It was a relatively rare admission in a sport that
has seen drug use since, well, forever.
Even more rare, Andreu's admission didn't take place after being busted
(Philippe Gaumont), from within a police station (David Millar) or before
a judge at trial (Richard Virenque). Like French rider Jerome Chiotti,
Andreu simply decided to talk, whatever his reasons may be. Also like
Chiotti and some of the others, Andreu is already taking some heat for talking,
including from UCI president Pat McQuaid. Some things never change...
If Frankie were French, as a once doper he'd be invited to provide color
commentary for French television, would have a column in L'Equipe, would
be directing his own team and might be a good bet to replace President Jacques
Chirac in the palais de l'Elysée! (We don't mean to imply Chirac
ever doped. That said, we have not seen evidence that he didn't dope either.
-ed.) But Frankie is American and his admission of EPO use reduces
his already limited career options in cycling. And that increases the
likelihood that Frankie will write a book.
Bobby Julich and Frankie Andreu lead the peloton through Dammartin-sur-Meuse,
2000 Tour de France
2006 Pete Geyer)
Cycling fans who followed the sport during the last years of Frankie's
career may remember his informative and humorous online journals. More
than a few no doubt would have loved to see Frankie write a book about his
days in the peloton, about his near-win on the Champs-Elysees, about the
practical jokes and so on. Frankie may finally write that book now.
He'll of course be expected to discuss his use of EPO on a few occasions.
Who will write a book first, Frankie or Tyler?
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
In addition to Alexandre Vinokourov and Andrey
Kashechkin (as reported yesterday), the entire Rabobank team missed random
UCI blood tests prior to yesterday's stage. The UCI ultimately
decided it was simply unfortunate timing and there will be no sanctions.
Today is the Vuelta's second rest day
Tuesday's Stage 16 Profile
Sunday, September 10, 2006
According to their online schedule, Eurosport's
international (English) coverage today of the Vuelta begins at 14:05
CET (8:05am U.S. Eastern Time) and will run for approximately 25
minutes. Apparently the International Tiddly Winks Championships
were postponed due to sore thumbs so we should consider ourselves lucky
to get these precious 25 minutes of the Vuelta today, assuming the schedule
doesn't change... (Eurosport in France yesterday did not have
live coverage of the Individual Time Trial. But with TVE-I (Spanish)
live coverage on cable combined with live streaming audio in English
from eurosport.com, we were able to follow along ourselves... But
the vast majority of cycling fans in France had no way to watch the stage
live, online or otherwise. It is no wonder that the International
Cycling Union (UCI) is now running scared...)
Live video streaming is without question the best bet
in the future for coverage of bike racing, which is why our focus
for the past two seasons has been on providing a programme to online
race coverage. But streaming quality and reliability are still
in infancy, the business models even more so. The online rights
in Europe for the Vuelta may have gone unsold, which would explain
the lack of options, though we did have Eurosport live video streaming
for a few days. If and when Eurosport jumps fully into video streaming
and realizes it can offer streaming independently of what it is showing
via traditional cable or satellite sources, then perhaps high quality,
reliable streaming of bike races will become a reality world-wide.
As we saw with the Tour de France, some of the best
options for live video streaming appeared during the final week
of the race, so with regards to the current Vuelta you never know....
We remain on the look-out.
Saturday, September 9, 2006
Note: According to the online schedule,
Eurosport's coverage of today's individual time trial will run from approximately
13:30 CET (7:30am U.S. Eastern Time) to 14:30 CET (8:30am U.S. Eastern Time).
Today is the first of two "long" Vuelta individual time
trials, with the second one taking place next Saturday on the penultimate
Today's time trial is 33km in Cuenca. The first
rider to go, Cyril Lemoine of Credit Agricole, departs at 10:57
CET (4:57am U.S. Eastern Time)
Other key start times include:
-David Millar (GB-SDV) 12:33 (6:33am U.S. Eastern Time)
-Vladimir Karpets (R-CEI) 13:47 (7:47am U.S. ET)
-Manuel Beltrán (DSC) 13:49
-Danilo Di Luca (I-LIQ) 13:51
-Janez Brajkovic (Sl-DSC) 13:53
-Alexandre Vinokourov (K-AWT) 13:55
-Gómez Marchante (SDV) 13:57
-Carlos Sastre (CSC) 13:59
-Andrey Kashechkin (K-AWT) 14:01 (8:01am U.S. ET)
-Alejandro Valverde (CEI) 14:03 (8:03am U.S. ET)