I just wanted to make the observation that we’ve seen the likes of Johan Vansummeren, Matthew Goss and Philippe Gilbert winning big so far this year. So what? Well both Vansummeren and Goss belong to squads with a big anti-doping ethic and “Phil” has long been a supporter of clean cycling, ready to denounce those cheating.
With all the talk of doping investigations in Italy, with the ongoing Contador-CAS saga and more, it’s almost gone unnoticed that teams and riders reputed to be the strictest supports of anti-doping measures are winning.
Of course, just writing this is risky, I’m venturing into a minefield, in fact a marsh that contains land mines, you can get bogged down and blown to pieces. So I don’t want to labour the point. But if you make the assumption that any of the three names mentioned here are doing things right then it marks a big change from times in the past where you needed to scan the results for a rider who wasn’t linked to an investigation or a dodgy doctor.
And a final point that we now more into the hills and mountains. Performance enhancing measures… enhance performances even more in races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Giro d’Italia. So if it’s fraught drawing conclusions now, it’s even harder to extrapolate for year ahead. But again, some teams are making big efforts to support clean riding and it seems to be paying big dividends. That just didn’t happen. And it’s a nice foil to the negative stories of police raids and UCI politics.