Thursday, July 26, 2007

Heartbreak, heartache and Gosh did I ever need that Lion-print bikini - Mimitig

So here we are, again. Drug cheating bastards making a mockery of the Lycra. I've cried, God only knows how many tears I've shed for the wishing of my sport to be clean. I thought this year we had it cracked (subliminal choice of words there), but I did believe that we had a Tour that would live up to its glorious start in London - Ken and Christian as one, smiling - oh smiling so much you had to be happy. Millions, sodding millions of Brits and visitors to our shores turned out to watch the Prologue and the first racing stage to Canterbury. Oh, we were so happy and so proud. I felt that my months of protecting and championing Pro-cycling were vindicated. Now as I write that word - I shudder from the Vin. It's so cruel and so unfair.

I can't bring you a report of the latest stage because I am in shock - I am horrified and sad, and in tears. My sport, my precious cycling is plunged back into its darkest Festina days. Brad Wiggins - so clean you could wash your clothes in him - was afraid to voice his doubts about Vino, and how many others feel the same?

Today we not only had more drug suspects, but also the horrifying sight of ETA using the Tour route as a means to terrorism. I live in a very safe place but I've just been to the south and at Luton Airport, there were men with guns and hostility. Coming home, to Inverness, how calm it was. Just a few chaps and girls in those luminous green jackets to not get run over by the planes. It was just so low-key. No scary stuff from terrorism, no scary stuff cos the rivers are flooding and, hey, I'm fine, my family is fine.

I would love to write something jolly and funny about this stage - but it's all shite and I hate it. I am, if you- my reader hadn't already grasped this, a romantic. I believe in the best of everyone, I trust. For me, it is the only way to live and follow the sports.

Apparently the stage ended with Rasmussen, Leipheimer and Contador taking the honours.

Well, however much of a naïve I am, there are two names there that I now doubt. Contador to win in Paris. Mimi to wear the bikini in Paris!


MotM said...

It is heartbreaking - the TdF is satifying on so many levels: aesthetically; historically; competitively; intellectually and yet it stands in ruins.

I too weep for the loss.

levremance said...

I still like young Evans' chances, a minute 53 is nothing. Geelong are having a good year so there's an omen there. Plus there's still a time trial to go isn't there and that's Cadel's strongsuit, the Doc's money is safe I feel.

Don't shed any tears, the crooks are being weeded out one by one and that's a good thing. It shows the tests are working.

offside said...


There is still the great TV coverage and all those helicopter shots. Isn't France a lovely looking country?

I'm leaving it behind tomorrow, flying off to my island retreat.

All the best to miss Mimi and the rest of yous. See you soon.

guitougoal said...

"what a waste!" I thought 2 days ago while in Paris, watching all the preparation preceding the arrival of the tour.

This tour can make us laugh or make us cry and he could make us mad too.But most of all he make me think that it had to come to this point so we might as well never see another Tour de Shame again.
It's clean up time,I hope they finish the job for good so mimi and mouth enjoy writing for us again and we can watch the tour like if we were there.

mimi said...

I wrote this before hearing about Rasmussen. It just gets worse, and I want it to be OVER! I feel fraudulent and dirty having waxed lyrical about the Tour this year, having claimed that the teams are kicking out the drug-cheats, and having tempted back some former fans to this sport. Now - I don't know what to think. I can't take joy in these last few stages, I'm sick for poor old Bradley who won't get to ride the Champs Elysee and who is considering packing in Pro-cycling altogether. It's all just too horrid, and I will find it hard to hold faith in the sport that I have invested so much time and emotion in.

bluedaddy said...

Mimi dont be too brokenhearted. One of the reasons cycling is held so dear is that pretty much anyone can do it, and it's such a nice feeling to be on a bike. A breeze and some sun on your back, and nothing too steep ahead to climb, and it feels like you could spin those wheels right round the world.

This bloodletting is precisely what is needed. The Tour riders have always needed their fixes and their potions, but it does seem as if the cheats have pushed things too far. The clean riders know the wind is on their backs now. If they can stick together on this, they can win this battle and the Tour can be great again.

As you know only too well, the Tour isnt really about times and breaking records; it's about one rider against another, and each rider against himself. When this agony is ended there will still be roads and hills and mountains and adoring fans, and there will still be bikes and riders wanting to take on the challenge of racing round one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

It's painful but it is actually starting to feel good to me.

ericverschoor said... personal read of the semester.
Knowing nothing about cycling I still felt with you and angered with you.
As bluedaddy pointed out. I am sure you will find solace when you jump on your bike and pedal from A to B and back to A just for the fun of it, feeling the wind combing your hair. The same way I fall in love all over again with football every time I turn off the TV and put on my boots.
Isnt it time we just forgot following professional sport and focus only on that which we participate in?

mimi said...

Eric: you are so right. I take my bike and do the fearful run to the Harbour - downhill and it is frightening. But I can't do it now imagining a descent of a Col, and being at one with a man of Le Tour.
I hate that my dreams have been smashed again, that heroes are dross. For so many years I have lived for my weeks of Le Tour, and they have let me down. It's like being let down by the one you love. And I am ashamed that I wrote so passionately and drew others in.
For many reasons, tonight, I am in tears.

bluedaddy said...

'I fall in love all over again with football every time I turn off the TV and put on my boots'.

So so true Eric.

Last night I played in the wind and rain on an all weather (it needed to be!) pitch. Recently we have sucked, but last night was just sweet, sweet, sweet. We were 7 vs their 8, playing up the slope. After going a early goal down, we worked and worked, the ball on the ground, passing quickly and firmly, tackling with vigour. We equalized in the last quarter, then pushed on to have them clinging on, wasting time, and looking around for the guys who come along to put the goals away to save a draw for them.

We won with the last kick of the game.

Sorry mimi. Not about bikes. But cycling is too well loved to be wrecked by sponsors or quacks or cheats. I honestly think the Tour will survive this.

DoctorShoot said...

& Mouth
true believers

I feel your tears are for the wrong reason, however heartfelt.

The victims are the riders who bust their every sinew, nerve, and artery to get themselves over the col in decent time, or at all, or haul back a break, or give a little kid in the crowd that wave and a look to ensure another rider is sown in tomorrow's fields... years and years of dreaming and practice and getting up early and being almost knocked over by ignorant drivers and desparately time trialling against no hopers on awful surfaces and... somebody quietly offers you a tad of this which they take too and you just might make a second's difference and get you on the team... and then you are netted by the chemists and the unscrupulous dealers...

my heart goes out to those brilliant atheletes like vinikourov and rassmussen who have been caught up... and all the others living on a knife edge of a sharp prayer that they aren't unmasked...

one surely must take aim at the sponsors and the culture of greed which pushes good and valiant atheletes into the cruel abyss of doping, scandal, innuendo, shame, and wasted efforts.

Vive le Tour!!! long live it's beauty and glory and it's capacity to reach across all borders with the ultimate athletic challenge this planet has to offer...
let the small-minded go back to making their filthy cocktails and cluster bombs ; the heroes and heroines will still be out on the road in all weather in the elements showing us what poetry is really made of...

and in closing, (if I may sully some high moral thoughts a little), I must declare that the fact my $200 on Cadell "the valiant mr clean good eavens" Evans, is starting to look sound, has no bearing on my general demeanour of forgiveness, or my desire to see the pelaton charging the Champs-Élysées over and over...

PS: Mimi
stay cool and dig out the Lion print bikini and get on that tandem and head for the ferry... we'll all be on the other seat with you pedalling over the cobblestones for the future...

mimi said...

All of you - thanks so much.

guitougoal said...

200$ on Evans, I don't think Vegas wouldnt even post a line, but after so many cheaters packing and sent back home, your 200$ look like money in the bank. Contador snooze and Doc don't loose,
he get enough to pay for the booze.
ps: betting on sports it's illegal but if you are an addict
Dr Toxic, consult for free-

bikeolex said...

mimitig said:

"Drug cheating bastards making a mockery of the Lycra"

It doesn't take a drug cheating bastard to mock lycra: most people mock the lycra. Let's face it, the go faster clothes really do look silly to non-bikers.

Sorry to see this scandal upsets you that much. As you note in your blog, at least you're dry and not flooded out. Doesn't that give you some perspective? Biking is a sport - a bunch of overgrown adolescents in bright clothing rolling around on their toys. Enjoy it and try not to let the scandals get you down.

mimi said...

Well, we've come to the end of another stage. David Millar gave it his all, and in press conferences too. Brad had a lot to say - I am not sure at all where to go with my thoughts. Le Grand Depart was a triumph - what's happened subsequently has either been a victory for finding out drug cheats, or just a destruction of the glorious race. I WANT so very much to believe in the cleaning up. I think that cycling is being victimised, but I have no joy any more. But then that's par for the course. I'm mostly an unhappy person, though I try not to be, but hey ho, a bit more misery - what's new?

file said...

it's a steep climb but keep going mimi!

mimi said...

bikeolex: I mostly have a healthy perspective - it's just tough to follow and love a sport so much that recently attracts attention only for the wrong reasons. Yes, lycra looks all wrong on mid-life crisis people who only get on a bike once a year, but anyone who reads my pieces on cycling knows how much I care about my sport.
Today I followed the "contre la montre" as Mouth would say, and have little enthusiasm for writing about it. For me, as for others at this place, Evans is above reproach. I'd like to think Contador and Leipheimer are also, but whilst wondering whether anyone would be stupid as to dope in the Tour today of all days, I watched with suspicion rather than awe.
Perhaps a glory ride to Paris tomorrow will bring back some of the gloss that in the last week has gone so sadly missing.

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