Saturday, 3 November 2012

Saturday Shorts: J-Rod's Un-Spanish Stance, Cav's 'Support Role' Claims, Dowsett To Movistar.

 
Compared to recent weeks, this week has been pretty slow on news as is to be expected this time of year though it is a chance for us to get back to 'cycling talk' rather than 'doping talk'. If you have noticed the blog slowing down a little don't worry, things will be back to normal soon, in the meantime though, heres a quick look at the weeks latest cycling news...

Joaquim Rodriguez And His Un-Spanish Doping Stance
In the wake of the Armstrong debacle the Spanish have done little to evoke any sense of justice in the anti-doping game with the likes of Samuel Sanchez, Alberto Contador and Miguel Indurain all still fighting Lance Armstrong's corner, disappointingly. Fortunately not all of the Spaniards have lost their marbles with Oscar Freire speaking out against dopers and now Joaquim Rodriguez having his particularly hard-line say. The UCI ranked number 1 rider said: "I know the road I've travelled, I do not think I ever had a problem with doping nor will I have. I want to help make this sport better. This sport has a past, That is also the reason why there are now so many anti-doping rules... We, the riders of today, are the real losers. We lose sponsors, money, credibility and love of the people. Let us also look ahead. Throw doping sinners out for life, Doctors, riders, everyone involved." I can only wonder what his new boss Viatcheslav Ekimov makes of that...

Cavendish Speaks Out About Time At Sky
Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Mark Cavendish's move to OPQS, he wasn't short of words on his year at Sky. He told the Telegraph: “The Sky company slogan says ‘Believe in better’ but in the end we didn’t really buy into that. We could have been better this year. It wasn’t a failure, and I was very proud to be part of a British yellow-jersey winning team with Brad, but it wasn’t the ultimate either. We didn’t achieve what I thought we were setting out to achieve at the start of the season.” After being promised a target of 5 stages at the Tour but then only being given Bernhard Eisel as support, Cavendish new his chance at the Green Jersey was over. “It was then, on the eve of the Tour, that I realised the promise I had signed to Sky on wasn’t really a promise. I was a back-up rider. At the end of the day we weren’t going for the two jerseys at all. Chris Froome could have won two more stages, I should have won another two and Sky should have taken both jerseys. We could have done that without any risk or detriment to the yellow jersey. It’s frustrating. My mentality is that I am not happy unless we have got absolute perfection and have won everything we could have won.” Well. That's the end of that then.

Dowsett Offered Sky Role, But Chose Movistar
It turns out that Alex Dowsett was offered an extension to his contract at Sky for 2013, but turned it down in favour of slightly odd-ball choice Movistar. Sky do have a phenominal set-up, but the emphasis on Science and numbers is not for everyone. Alex Dowsett had a tough year at Sky with an injury keeping him out of action for a fair part of the season. He made gains in the latter third though, ranking highly in several Time Trials and finishing second in the National Championships Road Race. Dowsett is a bit of a Time-Trial specialist and it's here he could help Movistar - he will certainly bolster the squad when it comes to TTT's and first impressions are that Dowsett will likely be given a chance to fight for some week long stage races in much the style of the Eneco tour where the route is less hilly and there's some TT miles. With Sky's Grand Tour plans already well underway, it was unlikely that Dowsett would get a GT ride in 2013 - another reason for joining Movistar is that it's likely he will get a ride at the Giro or the Tour. Timing could have been a little better following his recent Armstrong comments and the sign or exit scheme at Sky, especially as he leaves Sky to ride for Valverde and a team who don't wash up well in the anti-doping stakes - for what it's worth though, I'm certain it purely is bad timing and there is nothing sinister in it. It's nice to see the Brits branch out away from Sky now and again - variety is the spice of life.

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