We’ve had news this week of the NASA mission to send a vehicle to the red planet. It turns out the frame is a Litespeed, something spotted by Bill Strickland on Twitter. The US company is obviously more famous for its bikes than its exploratory vehicles, Robbie McEwen won the green jersey in the Tour de France on a Litespeed back in 2002. But the company’s expertise in the design and manufacture of tubing seems to be transferable to other domains.
Talking of long range investigations the Italian media are reporting that Italian 50km speed walker Alex Schwazer has been busted for EPO and is out of the Olympics. What’s this got to do with cycling? Well it is said that Schwazer is linked to Michele Ferrari, the infamous sports scientist recently given a life ban in the US Postal doping conspiracy case in the US.
More importantly, Schwazer appears to have been caught by a trinity investigation with the public prosecutor of Padua, WADA and the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as Interpol. This is highly significant for several sports because if the police are going after the trail of money then there could be a lot of wire transfers to examine from a lot of athletes. I understand the case has been building for some time and that some surprising names could emerge. But as recent cases in cycling show, whether Franck Schleck or Pippo Pozzato, wiring money to a shady doctor is not a crime in itself.
La Route de France
On the subject of secrecy and investigation, I can reveal there is a women’s stage race taking part in France called La Route de France Internationale Féminine. It’s nine days long and features many good teams and riders.
But results seem hard to find in the media, whether in France or via the cycling news websites. Even a search via google only brings up results via the regional press. You can follow via the race website… but it’s only in French.
Equality for Rio 2016?
There’s some better news for women’s cycling. Having wondered aloud why the women’s track programme was inferior to the men’s programme the other day it seems plans could be in place to fix this for the next Olympic Games in Rio. womenscycling.net reports the women will ride a 4,000m pursuit.
The track programme of the 2012 games has now ended. Given the improvements in gender equality, the question is will be whetheer anyone can rise up over the next four years to equal Great Britain.