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Farewell to May

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Any regular readers may have noticed, my posts in the last month or so haven’t been as prolific as at other times. My apologies for that. I have to say that for me May was a tough month to be quite as enthusiastic about cycling and I thought I’d write about that today. My last ride was just a few of evenings ago. It was a lovely evening, it was warm, sunny and relatively peaceful on the roads and it was an absolute pleasure to be out riding. I wanted to spend some time riding my Mavic Cosmics (http://girodilento.com/2011-mavic-cosmic-carbone-sl-first-thoughts) and I wanted to ride on a slightly different route through the countryside than normal. It was a great ride and one that reminded me that my love of riding hasn’t changed in the last month – but I have struggled with Pro-Cycling and I’ve found it tough being a fan in the last month.

I didn’t enjoy the Giro nearly as much as I had hoped I would. Perhaps the course was too tough (I think it certainly was in places) but for me it never really recovered from the tragic loss of Wouter Weylandt. On top of that tragedy, personally I felt it was another tragedy for the sport that Contador was able to ride the race given his failed tests last July. That he won the race so comfortably, didn’t help my view on him or anyone who’s been involved in continuing to let him ride under a cloud. He’s a great rider – but for me he’s damaged goods and until those tests are resolved, I struggle to take any enjoyment from his riding. My Twitter stream has been jam packed with doping related tweets for pretty much the whole last month. Tyler Hamilton’s 60 minutes story about Armstrong just added to my general sadness about pro-cycling. I do think Armstrong doped, but sure everybody seems to have done the seem thing but the lies to keep it all hidden simply sadden me.

Yes, I’m perhaps hopelessly naive but I can see quite clearly the sport is in a mess with lies, deception, corruption etc right from quite low levels in the sport, through to the top. I’m sure there is a lot more to come out yet and I hope it will do some good but sometimes you can’t help but wonder if anything will change. Cycling’s been battling with doping for decades and losing (or at least not properly trying to win).

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After all that – we then had the tragic and freak death of Xavier Tondo, one of the good guys and someone I was a real fan of – not just for his riding but for the fact that he despised the dopers and helped expose a doping ring in Spain. That takes some guts as the code of Omerta or not openly speaking about doping is very strong and he took quite a risk for his career to do that. From what I read, Xavier was a great guy who most of all loved riding his bike and he will be missed.

Last week here in the UK a British cycling stalwart and another all round good guy Rob Jefferies (who I didn’t know) who was the same age as me, was out on a training ride after work and was hit and killed by an 18 year old driver. Rob leaves behind a wife and family and my sincere condolences go out to them.

Many people far more eloquent than I have written extensively about all of the above but all of this things have made me feel less like writing about cycling in the last month. It’s been a busy month workwise and I haven’ managed to get as much riding in as I would have liked either. I did about 450km but hopefully in June I’ll manage more – work and family demands allowing.

I’m pleased that I was able to end the month with a great bike ride and to be reminded of the simple pleasure of it all.

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Thanks for reading