Tour 2010: Stage 13

Thirteen stages and no drug scandals. The Tour organisers must have been holding their breath, wondering how long their charmed life could last. And then, the result they’ve surely been dreading: a stage win for Alexandre Vinokourov. In 2007, the Astana rider was nailed for blood doping and banned for a year – a sanction many felt was too lenient. He never confessed and has certainly never shown any contrition. Since his return to racing last season he’s won a number of races, including this year’s Liège-Bastgone-Liège. Let’s be absolutely clear: the Kazakh rider hasn’t tested positive for anything since 2007 and we have to assume he’s riding clean now. But it still leaves a nasty taste.


One name
I didn’t want to read
At the top of the table:
One man
I hoped I wouldn’t have to watch
Zipping up his jersey,
Arms held high in celebration.
The same arms that felt
The needles’ sting
And welcomed the blood
Rich with poisoned promise.
No confession, no remorse:
Ride out the ban
And come back
Like it never happened.
A red sock left
In the machine;
But discolouring everything –
A stain it seems
We still can’t quite remove.

Rodez-Revel, 196km
Won by Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
Maillot jaune: Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

One thought on “Tour 2010: Stage 13

  1. I completely agree. I’m still ambivalent about Vino, but it was nonetheless a gutsy attack today. Cycling is a poorer sport without his kamikaze attacks, assuming he is now clean, of course.

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