Thursday, July 15, 2004

Tour de Blog: Virenque

I've never been enamoured with Richard Virenque. He's always ridden with the bunch and then gone for the KotM points at about 10m before the line, with no challenges. Not exactly the "super climber" he thinks he is. Then we had the Festina team drug scandal, where all the rest of his team put their hands up and said "OK - we did it" and he, the team leader, cried and cried and said it was so unfair because he was innocent.

In the end he admitted that he was as guilty as the rest of them. Guilty of being a cheat. A dirty stinking cheat with no right to have worn the KotM jersey or be remembered. Cheats suck.

But now he's clean, and yesterday's stage was something of a revelation. Man that boy can climb. Providing he can beat Lance on a stage in the Pyrenees, or at least stay with the leading bunch we'll know whether he burned himself out or not on that breakaway. But for now, I've forgiven Richard Virenque. Anyone who can ride like he did yesterday, drug-free, deserves praise.

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