My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

I wonder how. I wonder why.

Category: Sport

If you guys know me at all then you know how much I dislike swimmer Michael Phelps. It doesn't matter what he wins, if he wins something and it doesn't matter if he drives sober or drunk, and I wouldn?t care at all if he was doped. Actually I wouldn't be surprised and I would be neither happy nor sad. To be honest with you, I have no feelings at all towards him and I would lie to my readers if I even told them that I can respect him. I'm sure he's very nice, kind and adorable, but to me he's not. 

Before the Olympic Games 2004 he talked a lot about winning, and that he wanted to win seven or more gold medals. I'm not a big fan of swimming but I use to look at it sometimes. My favourite swimmer has been Ian Thorpe, and that's the reason why I write about American Michael Phelps (I admit it, he is charismatic). Anyway, Michael Phelps showed me something that day which made my dislike him for the rest of the Olympic Games.

Yesterday French sport paper L'Équipe wrote that Ian Thorpe was doped last year, he showed "abnormal levels" of two banned substances in a doping test on May 2006, according to them. I don't know much about the accusations but sometimes L'Équipe just seems to want to find the greatest new of all, and I can't understand what is fun with accuse him of doping. Sure, he was an amazing swimmer, very nimble and moveable.  

Of course, I don't want to hear the accusations against Ian Thorpe, because I cannot even imagine why he would dope himself. But someone has, and it is true that he was tested positive with something. But it may not tell that he has actually doped himself.  But of course, it may have happened. He knew he was in his last season, he wouldn't continue for too long and as he felt a little weak he wanted to make himself feel stronger. Johan Museeuw doped himself in his last season, because nobody wants to retire as a loser. Ian Thorpe was a sportsman, and he thinks just like them.  

But I would like to see the news in a couple of years, when the news paper tells us that Michael Phelps was doped. Not because I hope he was, absolutely not, but haven't Michael Phelps have had strange results? According to the papers, I mean. They must all pray to receive a document which tells the story of the world record holder is doped. He wins all the time, and there is no medal that he can't win. It must sound very strange, no? I want some justice here, and not only accusations. Whoever can find a document which talks about a difference in a sportsmen/women's body, some day in their career, because the human body doesn't feel good every day.  

Would you believe in the news that Ian Thorpe was doped (as in this case)? Especially if the paper found a document somewhere and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has already decided to close the file because they did not have sufficient "scientific certitude"? But don't you think they know their swimmers quite well?
   It is very easy to believe a sportsmen/woman is doped when you don't feel perfectly relaxed with their performances, but you need some arguments to argument with people, why do you feel as you feel? Why do you believe he/she is doped? Which are your arguments against this sportsman/woman? 

There is something missing to me. And 'til it is clear then I will never believe that Ian Thorpe have ever doped himself.

It's Vino time!

Category: Cycling

Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov finished 3rd in Tirreno-Adriatico and is one of the favourite to the Critérium International in the French Ardennes this weekend. But Vinokourov doesn't care. 
"There's only one race I want to win this year, it's the Tour de France," he said on Friday. "I've already won everything else I wanted - except from the World Championship."

He is my favourite to the Tour victory, and to him, "winning the Tour is this year or never. Here at the Critérium International, I have the opportunity to race against Damiano Cunego, Alejandro Valverde or Luis Leon Sanchez but they might be in a different state of form as me because everyone has a different programme. Cunego might be in form earlier because of the Giro. I only focus on building my condition and my team for the Tour de France."

Critérium International is one of Vino's tests before the Tour, even though the Tour de France doesn't take part before July. He must feel quite good; otherwise it will be difficult to win the Tour. 
  Only days before the Tour de France begins in London this year Vinokourov and Kasheschkin, plus seven or eight riders from the Astana team will take part in the championship of Kazakhstan, after which they will fly directly to London for the start of the Tour de France. Vinokourov must feel strong after that trip. I wonder though if Vinokourov is thinking of retire. He has a lovely wife, and three kids. Maybe he wants to spend some times with his family. He isn't pure young anymore; I will feel so sad when he retires. And maybe this year his dream will come true.

But the Tour de France is far away and he has to think of the Critérium International.
"I hope to do a good time trial on Sunday afternoon. I did some testing in a wind tunnel and I know that I have to improve my position yet. Maybe I'll do the hill climb stage with the best riders. With the condition of Tirreno-Adriatico, I can make a top 10 here."

They dream of a gold medail in Beijing

Category: Sport

Eurosport seems to have started their show Mission to Beijing; I wonder who they are following this time. Mission to Athens was a great show and I used to check it out every Tuesday, especially Nikolaos Kaklamanakis (mistral) which swam with sharks and screamed with joy when his home country Greece won the 2004 European Championships in soccer.  

But I was most interested in Florian Rousseau, who dreamed of winning the Olympic Games in track cycling. I don't remember in which branch, but I remember that he retired before the Olympic Games as he never qualified for the competition. He was sad, but went to Athens however. I think he became the coach of the French track team (or something).  

I wonder who they are following this time. I hope they have chosen eight people which they are following (as they did in 2004) and not as they did at Mission to Turin, when they followed a lot of people. I lived in France by then but you couldn't understand the sportsmen's feelings. At least that's what I have heard, but as I said, I barely saw any shows.