So Cav didn't win. Not only that, he was beaten by, to quote the British press, "a nobody". Labelling Vinokourov a nobody is similar to calling Shakespeare 'some writer', Eddy Merkcx, a 'bit of alright on the bike', or Lance Armstrong ' a bit of a dick'. It just means you know nothing about cycling or, you know, classic literature.
The British press are very different to the Australian press. Where the Aus media, in the case of loss, usually bend over backward to make excuses for what was surely an inevitable loss given the circumstances, our mates over the pond seem to relish in almost exiling the offending athlete from the country, if they so much as look at anything other than the gold medal.
So it is with Cav. Sure, the British team perhaps weren't as dominant or as clever as they could have been, but they were beaten, not by a nobody but, rather, by a dude who has won the odd race here and there. Let's not forget Vinokourov winning on the streets of Paris in the 2005 Tour, when Cav was probably still winning regional races, fuelled by god-knows how many Yorkshire puds.
I mean, I was baffled from the minute people started speculating about their assuredness of Cav's win. I mean, there was a dirty great hill in the mix, and Cav doesn't exactly excel up the inclines. This was not a sprinter's course but, rather, a classics course. I'm surprised no one picked Vino for the win, given his reasonably good form, and penchant for pissing people off.
Not only that, but Cav decided, no doubt bitter he gave up the last year for a twenty somethingth place, to blame the Australian team for negative racing.
I mean, I'm the first one to cry 'negative' in a club race. But that's because negative racing is one of the best labels to cover the fact that none of us are any good. By suggesting that a quashing of tactics was responsible for the loss, rather than no tactics at all, we all come out looking like cooler people.
The Australians weren't racing negatively. They were trying to make sure GB (Great Britain, not Gorilla Biscuits. Good band but) weren't in the break. The reason for this is because, and here's the thing, they were 'trying to win'.
The only bit of the race I saw was Mickey Rogers cruising along in a lone break. I fucking love Mickey from way back when, and was shattered when he crashed out of the Tour a few years back while in the virtual lead. It's a shame he couldn't have had a proper crack but, you know, that's racing.
In some ways, Vino's win, is actually quite fitting. He's one of those riders who, despite having done his time for doping scandals in the past, the public has decided to continue hating, while others like David Millar, are now loved. Vino is retiring this year, and it seems a nice touch to his palmeres, before he goes out, in a spurt of EPO.
I, for one, don't care if he doped. The benefit of the doubt now lies with his innocence, as it does with every other reformed rider, and the fact is he rode a damn clever race. I also love an upset. Cav winning would have had every smug British bastard holding a meat pie, gut hanging over their belts, singing God Save The Queen. I like that a 'nobody' from 'some country over thataway' absolutely belted the dream team, and did so in fine form, by himself. The way Vino always won. Coming out of nowhere, comprehensively, and with zero fucks given.
And, you know, I rate that above some fat kid being led out by a guy with skinny ankles and a dude who looks like an alien.
Here are Gorilla Biscuits