Saturday, December 8, 2007

Goodbye, Alexandre the Great!

Vino departs from what should have been an illustrious cycling career, under a cloud. It sounds uncannily familiar...
I like Alexandre Vinokourov, for the right reasons, I admire his fluidity on the bike and gutsy desire to win. When he was found guilty of doping, it was dreadfully wrong, why he would do it under suspicion because of his dealing with Michele Ferrari, we will never know. After winning the time trial stage in Albi,  Tdf 2007, he was tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion. He was subsequently given a one year ban, half the mandated sentence. But, strangely allowed to compete in the '08 Olympics. He decides to retire, instead! His palmares of 46 victories are to be envied, notably, wins in Amstel Gold, Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse, and Vuelta a Espana! I thought that he was destined to win the Tour, a fantastic 3rd overall in the Tdf 2003 proved it! Then, 2007 came crashing down with the expulsion of himself and his team Astana from the Tour. Similarly, American Tyler Hamilton, was suspended for positive blood doping after a time trial victory in the 2004 Vuelta a Espana. Hamilton maintains his innocence and continues the lengthy battle to clear his name! As it looks, Vino will be the 3rd rider to be caught 'positive' on the blood doping test introduced in 2004! Not a record to be proud of, either!

Today, with the annoucement of his retirement, Vino has one last battle, to clear his name...it maybe the toughest one to win.

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