A few stages ago, when Manuel Beltran got tossed out of the Tour, Phil portentously talked about how the Tour was going on “with head held high” (as our noble cyclists pursue the goal of Clean Riding). Another rider was tossed out of the Tour after a positive drug test yesterday. And today, one of the most excitiing riders of this year’s race, Riccardo Ricco, was driven away in police custody after testing positive for a form of EPO. Do such developments stay Portentous Phil from his sermonizing? Not hardly. Here’s Phil at the end of today’s stage, won by another sensational young rider, Mark Cavendish:
“It’s been a sad day for cycling with the disqualification of another rider who still believes they can beat the system. Well, we’ve got news for you, Riccardo Ricco, the system is getting better tthan you guys, and we are catching you up.”
Beyond the slightly “1984”-ish tone of this pronouncement–I’m thinking of the movie versions of the Orwell story, with tele-screen announcers urging viewers to turn in wrongdoers–this is a breathtaking statement. Riders like Ricco–lionized on the same broadcast just days ago by Phil and company–cannot beat the system. And who is the system? Phil says it’s him and all his friends: the scolding Bob Roll, the clucking Paul Sherwen, and the attendant host of cycling purity nannies.
Sorry, mates: By watching this broadcast, I did not sign up to be part of a crusade against an evil I’m not sure is really evil And even if the evil is there, the fervent and hyper-moral missionary campaign Versus and Phil are promoting are more distasteful to me than the ills they say they’re trying to cure.
End of rant.
In other Phil quote news:
Describing a chase that gains time, then loses it: “The yo-yo of the elastic has not snapped yet.”