Dear Michael

Posted on 15. Apr, 2008 by in news

So you got into the Tour de Georgia, I wish I could celebrate with you but I just don’t see how your participation is good for the sport of cycling.

You see, Michael, I love this sport. I love the emotion of the riders fighting to get their last grasp of air, the elegance of the climber dancing on the pedals, the always moving sinuous peloton, the cockiness of the sprinters, the hope of a last minute suicide attack, the organization of a leadout train, the echelon trying to fight the wind, the unsung domestique working for the team, the loneliness of a breakaway., the man and machine versus cobbles and weather in the Belgian classics,…. I love it all.

This beautiful sport is being dragged through the mud by dopers, liars and cheats. Add to that, the petty infighting amongst organizations that claim to want the best for the sport.

So please explain to me how your particular approach is helping out? Your maneuvers to turn everything into a publicity stunt is certainly great for your bottom line but making yourself (in)famous is not helping the sport. The little stunt with your three riders did not resonate well with the other riders, as stated by Fabian Cancellara:

“When you have problems you shouldn’t be at the start of a race. When you love the bike you have to understand that. We’ve had too many problems already and we don’t need anymore like that. We need good cycling, clean cycling and nice cycling. There were so many people at the finish in Santa Rosa and we don’t need to see people at the side of the road protesting and shouting EPO at us. Cycling is the most controlled sport in the world and sometimes some people think they can still flick people but we hope we can follow the right road.”

Then, after this behavior causes problems and makes your presence indesirable with the race organizers:

“Their performance at the Amgen Tour of California did not resonate well,” Birrell said.

You start legal actions to force your inclusion in a race. Again, how is this good for the sport?

So Michael, you say that you are passionate about the sport, prove it. Stop making this about you and your money, and start making it about the race and the riders. And then I will be happy to celebrate your inclusion in the races.

PS. repeating that you are cool does not make you cool.

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