However, as it turns out, the suspension has nothing to do with his long history of doping. Rather, it's most likely because his boss feels he's not doping his riders enough:
Cyclingnews understands that Bjarne Riis has been suspended from Tinkoff-Saxo for the poor performance of the team. The absence of Riis at Milan-San Remo, where the team previously announced he would act as directeur sportif, has sparked the rumours that the Danish manager has been suspended, possibly as a result of owner Oleg Tinkov's demand for better results.
In Cycling Speak, results=doping.
You know, it was driving me absolutely crazy trying to figure out who Riis looks like now. At first I thought Jeffrey Tambor:
But that wasn't it, and it was only after minutes upon minutes of straining my tiny little brain that I realized he's the spitting image of Mr. Perkins from "Thomas and Friends:"
I mean come on, it's uncanny! He's even got the exact same look of terror Mr. Perkins gets when Sir Topham Hatt calls to ream him out:
Oleg Tinkov has no patience for confusion and delay.
As for Tinkov, I have a feeling he might regret this suspension. Sure, it's easy to blame Riis for the team's lack of results, but it might have something to do with the fact that he insists on joining the team on their training rides:
Since the sale, Tinkov has taken a great personal interest in the team, and is often seen in a Tinkoff-Saxo kit out training with the riders. He was reportedly unhappy with the lack of victories by the team. So far this season, they've won only two races: Alberto Contador won a stage of the Ruta del Sol, and Peter Sagan a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Not sure how effectively you can train when you're afraid to drop the boss:
As for Tinkov and doping, it's worth watching this interview, where at :30 seconds the interviewer says to him regarding Alberto "Tainted Steak" Contador:
"And you're convinced he'll do it cleanly, just like everybody else on the team."
Tinkov is usually a glib motherfucker, but in this case his eyes roll back in his head and he's all like "Ummm" for at least five seconds:
Then he finally stammers out an answer:
"I never ever had any doping cases in my team."
This is Cycling Speak for "We haven't gotten caught yet so I don't expect us to."
Meanwhile, in bicycle retail news, the new bike of your dreams is currently languishing on a container ship at the Port of Los Angeles:
“We have two containers of bikes on the water right now and four or five due to leave soon,” said Marin’s National Sales Manager, Thad Fabish, in an interview before the resolution. “It’s not a huge amount but the problem is that these are key bikes; these are the bikes we’re trying to get to our Midwest and Northeast dealers for when they come out of snow season.”
So a company named Marin can't get its own bikes into California?
Now that's ironic.
(Of course my own books are printed overseas and were once delayed because of a storm, so I shouldn't laugh, but I am anyway because I'm a hypocrite.)
However, where legitimate retailers see a problem, I see an opportunity:
A single shipping container can hold about 300 boxed bikes, so Fabish is looking at roughly 2,000 bikes that ideally need to get to dealers sometime in the next month or so. But that won’t happen, because the backlog is going to take, by most estimates, at least eight weeks to unwind. At the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Monday, the two busiest ports on the West Coast, 27 container ships were anchored in the harbor; in normal conditions, there are only a couple waiting for unloading berths.
27 container ships full of bikes!?! I need 40 or 50 brave souls (and no triathletes, please) who are willing to board water bikes and raid this ship for its crabon booty:
They will sing songs of our adventures, and one day there will even be a Hollywood feature film about us called "Pirate Freds of the High Seas."
Just think of the merchandising. Can you say "crabon cutlass!?!"
("Yes. Yes I can say 'crabon cutlass.'")
And speaking of Fred bikes, CyclingNews/BikeRadar technical editor and crabon apologist James Huang is fed up with all these bicycle component "standards:"
It's strangely edifying to see him hoisted by his own petard and calling for practicality over marketing BS:
What would be nice is some sort of industry consolidation where companies can put aside some of its pettiness and instead strive to make lives easier for the rest of us. Winning test numbers from a fancy frame stiffness jig are nice and all but there’s also a tipping point for when some sort of technical ‘innovation’ isn’t worth whatever other sacrifice has to be made to get it.
There’s no test for practicality but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have value.
There actually is a basic test for practicality, and here's how it works:
1) Take new bike;
2) Swap wheels with another bike;
3) Remove and replace cranks, seatpost, and stem and then replace them again.
Were you able to do all of the above, and if so were you able to do so without purchasing any special tools or equipment?
If you answered "yes," then the bike is practical.
If you answered "No, and the manual says that if I attempt to do any of that without taking the bike to the dealer for service I will void my warranty" then you own a Specialized.
Yes, thanks to endless "innovation," this is the life of the modern Fred:
I’ve got a box of headsets that won’t fit in anything. I have a drawer full of bottom bracket spacers, wave springs, and washers that I hate using. And pretty soon, I’ll have a bunch of beautiful wheels that will all be instantaneously obsolete.
I love technical innovation as much as anyone – and not surprisingly, I embrace it more than most. But that said, there have to at least be some considerations made when it comes to the people who are actually buying the stuff companies are developing.
Can’t we all just get along, maybe at least just a little bit?
Finally, the Fredly facade is cracking! Come on, James, join us! You know you want to. This stuff is stupid, just admit it.
In five years he'll be riding a Rivendell.
Lastly, there's a bill to make bicycle helments mandatory (for cyclists, presumably) in California, and the LA Times is against it:
Unfortunately, they don't quite understand why they should be against it:
The intentions behind SB 192, authored by Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), are laudable, and many of the objections raised by bicycling enthusiasts are laughable — such as the idea that mandatory helmets would make bicycling appear more dangerous and thus discourage people from trying it.
Why is that laughable? It's exactly true. Bicycle helments are destroying America. I know this as a parent. The idea that riding a bike without wearing a helment is tantamount to suicide has resulted in a sort of mania. Forget bicycles--many parents won't let their kid on anything with wheels without a helment. Have you ever seen a parent in a playground flip out because their kid tried to ride a kiddie scooter or some other rolling piece of plastic crap without first putting on a foam hat? I have, many times. It's insane.
At this rate, American children will be more afraid of human-powered vehicles than cigarettes.