Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quartet signs on

Alán, Iván, Markel and Josu have all signed a contract that will keep them with the team until the end of the 2009 season. The news came just a couple of days after the announcement that Mikel has decided to prolong his contract, so the team is shaping up for next season.

9 comments:

arnout said...

So just back from holidays.

Strange two weeks, I read your blog from the olympics onwards to get up to date again (though I knew Samuel did win the road race and finished sixth in the time trial). Great Olympics I guess, really great, but the news the days after was not very good. Iban suspended. Huh, I guess he doped, but I don't mind. Using dope is the real spirit, only that shows that you really want to win races and be the best. And that is what Iban is. I hope he will not come back actually in a Mancebo like return, that is not good for his name either. We'll see, lets hope he appeals first. And about the dope issue, dope is really good for you. It is better for your body to get some EPO during an not human three week Tour, and after all the results are better, so why not? I may be a bit controversial with this point, but I don't mind.

And then Haimar. Man, he was mister Euskaltel. And why Astana? He'll be number 4 after Contador, Klöden and Leipheimer. Wasting his chances of another win in his career (since 2000 he didn't win I believe). Lampre, Bouygues, Quickstep, I don't mind, but why Astana? Sad, sad...

Luckily Mikel stays, that was some news I needed actually...

Enough talking I think.

Anonymous said...

That's true why Astana? He'll never be the number one guy there. I'm betting that after a few years with no major winds he'll end up with Rock Racing out of U.S. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if Iban Mayo ended up there too.

Mike

Bolsen3 said...

Worst lode of crap I ever heard! Real spirit??? What the hell? Doping is the easy way, the way cowardly cheats choose because they can't handle fair competition. Being able to perform 5-15% better by using EPO, cheating your opponents, that's pretty low spirited I would say. I know almost everyone doped before, but the times are changing, and the ones who can't realize that deserves to be treated like no good cheating bastards...

And EPO is good for you, ha ha ha. Well, maybe in the three weeks of the Tour, but it's medically proven that EPO can have serious consequences on your health later on in your life. Do you really mean that it's morally right to teach our young talents that they have to dope in order to be good?

arnout said...

A little bit of EPO is good for a body which need to recuperate. Too much... no. 'Course not, but that's the same with everything. You can die of drinking too much water.

And I have respect for riders who use dope. Can't do anything about it, but they are the winners (or losers at last). They do everything for a win and I like that spirit. Yeah I know I am strange...

Bolsen3 said...

Comparing EPO with water is a pretty long shot, don't you think? And surly, the riders who use EPO normally uses more than "a little bit". It's naive to think that they only dope 3 weeks in July, for most of them it's probably much more than that, they'll use it in training too, and that habit is definitely not good for you in the long run, any doctor will tell you that (well, maybe not the ones who help the athletes with cheating :P )

But we'll never agree on this one I guess, we represent two opposite views. If you had the same opinions about this before Mayo was judged, then I can respect it in some ways. If not, you're a stupid little coward ;-)

arnout said...

This view grew with the years actually, and yes it started to grew before Mayo got suspended ;)

If you compare the sickly bad face of Evans during the Alpe stage this year (and also the other riders) with riders in the past, I guess EPO is sort of good for you... This is just a simple example btw.

I vote for a controlled doping system, regulated from the UCI, but I guess that will never happen ;)

Magnus said...

I'm sorry arnout. I respect your opinion, but I couldn't really disagree more... I find no dignity in taking drugs to cheat others.

arnout said...

Hey that's possible ;)

I watched cycling for very long and throughout the years I came to this conclusion. Can't do anything about it actually. It is also because cycling with EPO is a lot more attractive than without. Compare the years around 2000 with now. This years the race is closed, there are not much attacks (except that Sastre one, I was yelling in front of my tv for him) which are decisive, races are decided in time trials. Look at the Giro this year. Or all the smaller rounds of 2007: Tirreno, Romandie, Catalunya, Suisse, ENECO, Deutschland. Paris - Nice and Poland doesn't have time trial so only the Dauphine was not decided in the time trial of the smaller rounds.

And when there can be made differences in the mountains, that will be different. And I like battles in mountains more than in time trials...

Bolsen3 said...

Well, maybe EPO gave us more attacks and such, but I like the real deal a lot better than some false, doped up, fantasy cycling. I agree with ASO, it's wonderful to really see the bitter pain in the cyclists eyes. To see them suffer. To me that's what cycling is all about; pain. When I climb a hill (haven't done a mountain yet :P) on my bike, I suffer a lot, and I like to see that the pros are hurting too. To see a guy like Ricco ride up a mountain in a great speed, looking like he's on a family road trip gives me zero satisfaction. To see Sella pull of impossible things one day after the other, that just makes me sad. You know it's fake, you know it's not real, honest cycling.

Does no dope make cycling boring compared to the past? Not to me. Sure, you get less attacks, less fantastic, unbelievable stunts. But what you get in return is a closer competition and more excitement, and the honest guys have a chance of winning. I think Carlos Sastre is a perfect example of a rider who has been cheated by so many of his rivals and team mate(s) in the past, and now he can finally get what he deserves: wins, through only hard work and suffering.
I honestly think the Tour 2008 was one of the greatest I've ever seen (and I've seen all since 96), and Paris-Nice 2008! Wow, that was just awesome! And those two races must truly be some of the cleanest races ever...

YES to equal competition, don't let cheaters piss all over our sport!

 

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