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Floyd Landis ‘B’ test is positive

Tour de France champion Floyd Landis’ backup urine sample confirmed high levels of testosterone, cycling’s governing body said Saturday, raising the prospect that he could lose his title.

Following the results of the “B” sample, Landis was fired by his Swiss team, Phonak. He also faces a two-year ban from USA Cycling, which is responsible for sanctions against the American rider.

I’m certainly no expert, but I find it hard to believe that these positive tests prove Landis is guilty of doping for the following reasons:

  • The tests have been alleged to show a high ratio between two naturally-occuring substances (testosterone and epitestosterone), but not the presence of foreign substances.
  • Several other tests were performed on Landis’ samples during the Tour (he says eight times) and presumably none of them were positive.
  • In eight years of professional riding, Landis has never failed a drug test.
  • Why would one dope and then perform at such a blistering pace as he did on Stage 17, knowing the attention that would draw?

Perhaps I’m just naive; what do you think?

Update: Floyd has detailed comments asserting facts about the tests that don’t appear to have made the mainstream press (yet). He alleges that his epitestosterone levels were low, and that caused the imbalance. That’s a lot different than the assertions that he took synthetic testosterone to boost his levels.

Update 2: Boy, the media seem eager to villify Landis without even attempting to obtain more substantive information about the tests. It’s so depressing I don’t even want to link to the stories I’m seeing.

Well, I made it through the TDC 2006’s metric century (62 miles). I knew I hadn’t prepared enough for the ride, but figured I could manage. And I did, although not without slowing my dad down a bit during the last 20 miles. One problem I never encountered during Bike Virginia last year due to adequate training was cramps. Yesterday at about the 40-mile mark I started feeling some cramping in my upper left leg. I made sure to keep hydrated and made use of the more-than-adequate rest stops to take a break and recharge. That last rest stop at the Agway was well-placed, that’s for sure. 😉

If the course had been more hilly, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. The views along the ride (in Scott‘s and Chuck‘s area) were spectacular, and the ride through Carlisle was interesting for someone who hadn’t ridden through on a bike before. My dad and I communicated effectively, I with the cue sheet and he with the map, and we didn’t miss a turn. The route was pretty well marked, but there were a few turns that I wouldn’t have been prepared for if I was just looking for the painted pavement markers.

Once we headed back home, I was pretty darn lethargic, but I did help with dinner and was a little more lively later. Today I just have a sore seat. 😉

Now that I have the routes, I may head over that way and ride them outside of the TDC. Obviously, that’d be the best way to prepare for the ride next year, especially if I want to have a time goal. My dad and I started at 8AM and arrived back a little before 2PM. I believe we averaged 13mph while in motion. I can do better!

I will definitely do the Tour de Cure 2007 ride, and now that I have a better feel for the fundraising I should be able to raise more money for the cause.

Looking ahead to later this season, I’m now planning to ride in the Lancaster Bicycle Club‘s Covered Bridge Metric Century ride on August 20, 2006. My dad has already planned to ride this with one of his other cycling friends. It looks like a fun ride. I have enough time to properly train for that one so that I can enjoy myself a bit more if I decide to go for the long ride again.

Chuck finished the TDC’s 31-mile course, and agreed with my assessment that he could have done the long course. Perhaps we can team up for the metric century in ’07.

Well, I finally psyched myself up and got out on the bike for the first time this season. I was going to go yesterday morning, but a confluence of events (including the fact that I hadn’t prepared the bike) would have delayed me longer than I like. When I go out on the weekends, I like to get out early.

My bike’s saddle had developed an edge rip over last season. I still had Melissa’s old saddle in storage, so I took that out and replaced it. It was the exact same model, since we have identical bike models (although mine is an XL frame and hers is an XS). Once that was on I hit the road.

I was out at about 7:15; it was in the low 40’s and I had adequate clothing for everything but my fingers. About 10 minutes and numb fingers later, I gave myself another 10 minutes to warm up my fingers or I was heading back. Luckily my blood started pumping and my digits (and everything else) warmed up just fine.

I did my normal ride to the square in Hummelstown, which usually took me an hour last season. I shaved that down to about 45 minutes right before Bike Virginia 2005. My dad plotted the ride and it’s a great, compact workout. For other, longer rides, I added a ride my neighbor Tom shared with me onto it to make it about a 30-mile ride that takes you past some great farmland. I should find a way to plot both rides into an online mapping service to share.

Well, anyways, this time the ride took me about 1:15-1:20. My computer is not working properly yet so I don’t have the exact figures. Being my first ride of the season, I was pleased. I wanted to stop a little more frequently than normal, but I never walked the bike & I didn’t ever feel like I was overloading myself. My legs were fine, but my cardiovascular system can use some tuning up so I’m finally going to get on the treadmill like I’ve been meaning to. I’ll load up on some podcasts to make that kind of mind-numbing exercise tolerable.

My dad has shared some great biking wisdom with me, but here are the two things I always come back to (with my own corollaries):

  • Keep your pedaling cadence at about 60 revolutions per minute. (Shift up, down, coast, or stop as necessary.)
  • Never stop at the top of a hill; keep going! (Or you’ll miss out on the full thrill of the rush you’ll get on the way down.)

And, assuming you’re ending up where you started: there are no dishonest miles.

Once again I’m participating in two Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues this spring and summer. Unfortunately, the league I won last year, Pixel’s All Star League, didn’t re-form for this season. However, the Brutal Deluxe Baseball League is back, and Citrus created an intriguing experimental league. His “Money Ballz Experimental” league rewards some of the standard accumulated stats like home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and saves, but devotes half of the stat categories to composite metrics like fielding, on-base & slugging percentage, WHIP ([walks + hits]/innings pitched), and some strikeout ratios. Good stuff.

Cyg’s Bunters BDBL aren’t on pace to defend our second-place finish of last year just yet; we’re currently in last place. We’ve had some tough matchups so far and several batters are underperforming. Pitching is good but I’ve gotten sloppy and missed a few starts. We also don’t have a lot of relief pitchers right now. We just recruited NL Player of the Week Craig Wilson from the waiver wire and hope for a good matchup this week against the Hanover Lost Knights.

Cyg’s Bunters BDBL (as of 4/18):

  • J. López (Bal – C)
  • D. Lee (ChC – 1B)
  • J. Kent (LAD – 1B,2B)
  • S. Rolen (StL – 3B)
  • O. Cabrera (LAA – SS)
  • S. Podsednik (CWS – OF)
  • J. Lane (Hou – OF)
  • J. Dye (CWS – OF)
  • C. Wilson (Pit – 1B,OF)
  • C. Crawford (TB – OF)
  • C. Utley (Phi – 1B,2B)
  • J. Lugo (TB – SS)
  • C. Capuano (Mil – SP)
  • S. Kazmir (TB – SP)
  • J. Valverde (Ari – RP)
  • S. Shields (LAA – RP)
  • D. Willis (Fla – SP)
  • B. Zito (Oak – SP)
  • C. Zambrano (ChC – SP)
  • J. Patterson (Was – SP)
  • T. Wakefield (Bos – SP)
  • M. Prior (ChC – SP) (disabled)

Cyg’s Bunters X are a new team looking for some respect; we’ve earned a second-place ranking through two weeks of play. We’ve got a few pitchers on the mend but have some decent talent on the mound. I’ve been very happy with our offense; they’ve carried us to back-to-back 8-4 matchup victories in our first two weeks.

Cyg’s Bunters X (as of 4/18):

  • R. Hernández (Bal – C)
  • A. Pujols (StL – 1B)
  • A. Soriano (Was – 2B,OF)
  • R. Freel (Cin – 2B,3B,OF)
  • R. Furcal (LAD – SS)
  • B. Hawpe (Col – OF)
  • C. Lee (Mil – OF)
  • B. Abreu (Phi – OF)
  • T. Hafner (Cle – Util)
  • Mi. Cabrera (Fla – 3B,OF)
  • G. Sizemore (Cle – OF)
  • R. Sexson (Sea – 1B)
  • C. Crisp (Bos – OF)
  • F. García (CWS – SP)
  • J. Contreras (CWS – SP)
  • J. Westbrook (Cle – SP)
  • J. Bonderman (Det – SP)
  • A. Burnett (Tor – SP)
  • E. Guardado (Sea – RP)
  • B. Ryan (Tor – RP)
  • B. Howry (ChC – RP)
  • C. Cordero (Was – RP)
  • T. Hoffman (SD – RP)
  • C. Capuano (Mil – SP)
  • K. Millwood (Tex – SP)
  • C. Sabathia (Cle – SP) (disabled)
  • K. Wood (ChC – SP,RP) (disabled)

Normally, I’m not that much of a baseball guy, but this does help to fill the void of the NFL offseason quite well!