An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Friday, July 6, 2007

"I'd rather be inventing fabulous new metaphors than handing out scarlet letters."

Even the Outdoor Life Network changing its name to a monster truck movie poster --"Versus" -- can't save cycling from itself. But each summer, the Tour De France makes us all forget those woes for three weeks. And one of our favorite new drinking games is taking a shot of Everclear every time Phil Liggett says something conflicted and dissembling about doping within the Peloton. (It's a great game because we hate Everclear, especially in the morning, and our bottle is--after five years or so-- still full.)

Anyway, you can read his tortured views on the matter in advance of the big event right over here. But we'll give you a snapshot of the heady peak of his rhetoric, which never quite rises about half mast.

Now, in order to help the ailing race -- watched daily by 150 million television viewers in 170 countries and on average 750,000 roadside spectators -- become great again, the latest round of drugs checks will, once and for all, weed out the cheats and make way for cycling’s new breed of younger riders...One may not agree with drug-talking [taking?--Eds], but the reasons are evident as riders, fearing they will be left behind in front of the eyes of the World, seek any recourse just to keep up with a race that will arrive in Paris having spent 90 hours in the saddle and averaged 25mph, including the giant passes of Europe. History says that 30 to 35 percent will not see the Eiffel Tower.

We have a special admiration for Liggett and regret that he must spout a proper moralizing tone on the subject; he doesn't have a choice, of course, but we strongly suspect he finds this part of the job distasteful. Still, steady on old boy. Stiff upper lip and all that!


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