I’ve got to tell you, I was actually really excited to read that Ivan Basso signed with a Protour team. In fact, I think it may be one of the few incidents lately that just might save cycling in the eyes of its fan base. Allow me to explain:
Since this whole explosion in doping paranoia (and, yes, I do mean ‘paranoia’), I haven’t been able to stop comparing the widespread and unnecessary bureaucracy with other excessively bureaucratic aspects of life–the government, human resource departments, school administration–none of which are entertaining or interesting in the least. In fact, the bureaucratic element has led me to believe that the heads of cycling in our era may actually be total pansies bent on smearing their egos across the globe in an attempt at megalomania.
And who really wants to buy a DVD of that?
Signing Basso is just a sign that maybe those bloated egocentric organizers can get over themselves and move on. The 4-year ethical ban on ‘suspected’ riders being signed by Protour teams? That’s just a repulsive blemish on the face of what could otherwise be an exciting and very masculine sport–like having to watch your best buddy’s mother scold him excessively in front of you. I mean, really, like it’s that damaging to the sport to have someone who’s served his time come back into competition. Imagine if they’d signed the ethical charter before Richard Virenque was suspended. Tricky Dick and the entire French crowd would’ve been thrown into a collective conniption.
That said, I’d love to see Tyler Hamilton get a contract somewhere as well.
And maybe they can give Roberto Heras a job when he completes his suspension this summer, too.
And while we’re at it, I’d like Georg Totschnig to come back out of retirement so I can still maintain his unofficial fan club on my blog.
That last one went a little far? Sorry–got a little carried away there.