David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) won the 2011 Giro d’Italia’s final time trial in Milan today but the overall result will have to be kept on ice.

Millar’s win capped a superb weekend for British cycling fans as Geraint Thomas won Bayern-Rundfahrt in Germany today, after Bradley Wiggins won the race’s time trial on Saturday ahead of Fabian Cancellara.

Thomas’s result, the best of his career so far, may not compare to a Grand Tour win, but at least we can be confident the result will stand. Sadly the same can’t be said for the Giro.

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) was presented with the winner’s pink jersey and gold trophy but with a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) still pending the result of this year’s Giro cannot be validated.

If Contador is banned by CAS it will render the last three weeks a huge waste of time. Contador’s effect on this race has been enormous, and it’s not as simple as taking him out of the results and promoting everybody else.

Incredibly this year’s Tour could go exactly the same way now that CAS has postponed the hearing.

Contador – who is showing more and more of the traits that Lance Armstrong did at his most ostentatious – has refused to bow, or show a modicum of sympathy for the race whose result will be rendered meaningless if CAS decide to ban him and strip him of all results since last July due to his positive test for Clenbuterol.

“Sincerely?” he responded to Cycling Weekly’s question in a press conference last week. “Those are things that don’t even warrant a moment of my time.” Believing he is innocent is one thing, showing no respect for the race and the situation he has put it in is quite another.

Contador has even tried to fool people in to thinking that the fans love having him here, but no one with any sense is listening.

But perhaps Contador is the winner this race deserves. Organiser Angelo Zomegnan said there was nothing he could do to stop Contador riding when asked at a press conference in London earlier this year, but his lack of conviction when trying to look hard done-by was laughable.

And who else would have pulled the Spaniard out? His team? That’s a joke.

Bjarne Riis, the man who doped to win the 1996 Tour de France and then showed no remorse when admitting it years ago, had the temerity to suggest he runs a clean team. Before the race started in Turin the man who once coached Tyler Hamilton and Ivan Basso said; “I think people know what sort of team I run.” Yes Bjarne, we know exactly what sort of team you run.

The Spanish Cycling Federation certainly weren’t going to stop him. Out of everyone involved, they’re the ones who have come out of this whole sorry situation the worst. Not only did they roll over and clear Contador for no good reason, they have helped him beat the system every step of the way.

In February Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, told us how the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) had sent the UCI their overly complex and overly long documents concerning the case just days before Christmas – as late as they possibly could.

Translating the documents from Spanish meant the UCI had to wait until well into the new year to come to a decision on their next move, meanwhile RFEC complained about the delay.

Now it looks like they’re doing the same with CAS so their star rider can ride the Tour. Considering Contador’s only argument is ‘it was the steak’, and considering he has no proof to back that up, there seems little need for 100 page documents written in complex Spanish legalese.

So who does that leave to protect the race? The UCI? The sport’s governing body is in fact powerless to stop Contador from riding, and have kept a very low profile during this year’s Giro. Unfortunately for them, as they’ve fanned the flames of the Contador case, they’ve been completely engulfed by the Armstrong inferno.

All of which leaves the sport in a very sorry state. Thankfully FIFA has stooped so low that it’s managing to make cycling look good at the moment, but they’re much better at covering up scandals and corruption than cycling, and will do so again.

So, will the last person to leave please turn out the light.

Giro d’Italia stage 21, Milan-Milan 25.5km

1. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo 30-13 minutes
2. Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad at 7 secs
3. Alberto Contador (Esp) Saxo-Bank at 36 secs
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo-Bank at 43 secs
5. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack at 55 secs
6. Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank at 1-02 minutes
7. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-04 minutes
8. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad at 1-08 minutes
9. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 1-12 minutes
10. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 1-16 minutes

Final overall classification
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard in 84-05-14
2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 6-10
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 6-56
4. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:04
5. Joaquin Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katushaat 11-05
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 11-28
7. Jose Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 12-12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC at 12-18
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 13-51
10. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 14-10
87. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky at 2-54-07
100. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 3-14-39
140. Russell Downing (GB) Sky at 4-09-56

David MIllar, stage winner, Giro d

Stage winner David Millar

Alberto Contador, Giro d

Overall winner Alberto Contador

Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news
Deignan still learning in sixth Grand Tour
Giro changes again as final Milan time trial shortened
What riding the Giro has done for Peter Kennaugh
Millar’s time trial practice run
Nibali gives up hope for Giro d’Italia win
Contador ignores Armstrong doping investigation
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 24)
Controversial Crostis climb removed from Giro route
Sky leader Lofkvist loses more time at the Giro
Giro contenders struggle with Contador’s dominance
Contador widens Giro advantage but Tour doping case waits
Porte reflects, one year after Giro success
Le Mevel goes on attack for Giro’s pink jersey
Giro fines Contador for missing press conference
Cavendish responds to ‘team car’ accusations at Giro
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 15)
Giro’s Sicilian cyclists proud to face Mount Etna
Contador surprises at Giro with attack ahead of mountains
Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears
Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes
Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)
Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour
Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia
Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro
Tuesday’s Giro stage in memory of Weylandt
Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt
Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash
Giro news shorts (May 8)
Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow
Giro 2011: Who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports

Stage 20: Kiryienka wins final road stage as scrap for overall places unfolds

Stage 19: Tiralongo grinds to Giro stage win

Stage 18: Capecchi takes Giro stage win as contenders take day off

Stage 17: Ulissi prevails in controversial Giro sprint

Stage 16: Contador lords it over the rest in Giro TT

Stage 15: Nieve wins mountain marathon as Contador continues at the top

Stage 14: Anton conquers Zoncolan in shortened stage

Stage 13: Contador consolidates Giro overall as Rujano takes stage

Stage 12: Cavendish holds off Appollonio to take second victory

Stage 11: Gadret grabs dramatic stage win

Stage 10: Cavendish opens his Giro account

Stage nine: Contador storms Etna to take Giro lead

Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win

Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker

Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win

Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa

Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line

Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash

Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead

Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro’s opening team time trial

Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 20 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 19 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 19 live text updates

All previous live coverage can be found here>>

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 16 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 13 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 11 live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates

Giro d’Italia 2011 stage five live text updates

Follow the 2011 Giro d’Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule

Giro d’Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

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  • Mark Jones

    Great stage win by Millar, pity it got so little mention in the article

  • Derek O


    All Contador has to show that contaminated food is MORE LIKELY than any of the other 3 possibilities. He does not have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, or consider any other possibilities as to how it entered his system (you can thank the UCI for that, for boxing themselves into one of four possibilities).

    The fact is, there to date has been no EVIDENCE of a blood transfusion, while some circumstantial evidence of contaminated food (the butcher where the mean was traced from had Clen issues in the past). Thus, one can conclude that while unlikely the meat was contaminated, based upon the evidence, it is more likely than a transfusion

  • richard

    There must be other lawyers that have read that piece, but not only is it pretty poor journalism, intended just to shock and get a response, but it is clearly defamatory about a number of people and bodies. I’d be amazed if they don’t get sued. Would Richardson lose his job or has the mag done it deliberately to try and put themselves in the same league as L’Equipe, and Il Gazetto.

  • Jon

    Ee by gum, Gunter, where’s tha going t’t’pub lad? Does tha live in t’Pennines in t’1960s?

  • Richard

    I know “gobbing off” is cheaper than proper investigative journalism, but really this piece contributes little. Please remember that there is no link between how strongly a view is expressed and how accurate it is.

  • Oli


    The burden of proof is not on the UCI to provide rebuttal evidence. Quite the opposite. The burden of proof is on Contador to prove on balance that he ingested the substance via contaminated meat. He has, to our knowledge, been unable to do so as he has no evidence.

    A separate point (not in reply to yours, Derek) is that it is quite possible that he had a blood transfusion containing a trace of clenbuterol, but as Ricco showed, it would have had to have been a fairly recent batch that was put back in. That theory is speculative, but plausible one would think.

  • Norman Saunders

    An extremely tacky and possibly libellous article, without a shred of evidence to support the argument. We all have our thoughts about the practices that continue to tarnish professional cycling, but this writer stoops as low, or even lower, as those he attacks here

  • Anon

    I have been invited to the final stage of the TDF as a guest of one of Contador’s team sponsors. I have declined giving my reasoning as it would be hypocritical of me to show support to one such as Contador. I hope the sponsor will take it to heart, although realisitically they won’t, but it makes me feel better. How could I shake his hand and not feel a huge amount of anger towards him for mocking the Giro and the TDF?

  • Snortingelk

    I trust the next editorial meeting at Cycling Weekly will see Mr Richardson receiving a very severe rollocking.

    Firstly, when a British rider wins a stage of a grand tour, your readership expects that the achievement will merit more than 35 words, or less than 5% of the stage report. This is particularly true when the ride occurred before the live TV feed.

    Secondly, I think most of Cycling Weekly’s readership would welcome some analysis of how the other British riders had performed both in the time trial itself and the tour overall. Result listings aside, Mr Richardson couldn’t be bothered to post a single word about Russell Downing or Peter Kennaugh.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, was the unfortunate tone of the article. The doping allegations against Alberto Contador, his impact on the race and the impending CAS hearing are all legitimate topics for debate. However whilst the author is quite in order to express firm opinions on these matters, your readers have a right to expect that news articles are rationale and balanced; this article was neither.

    We all enjoy a good rant from time to time, but in future I suggest Mr Richardson leaves such musings to his own personal Twitter feed, and not the website of Britain’s oldest cycling journal.

  • adam

    Given current headlines, it’ll probably turn out to be the cucumbers fault….

  • Derek Ortt

    Those who think Contador is guilty just because he tested positive really need to read the rules

    There is a rule that states an athlete is not to be suspended if he establishes no fault. This has to be established by a BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES. The UCI and WADA in their report to REFC gave 4 possible sources of the clen

    1. Microdosing
    2. Contaminated suppliment
    3. Comtaminated food
    4. Blood doping

    All Contador has to prove is that contaminated food is MORE PROBABLE than the other options and he is acquitted. UCI presented no evidence to the contrary at the REFC hearing. Therefore, there was really no other choice but to acquit. Take it up the acquittal with the UCI for not presenting any rebuttal evidence, not Contador

  • Snortingelk

    I trust the next editorial meeting at Cycling Weekly will see Mr Richardson receiving a very severe bollocking.

    Firstly, when a British rider wins a stage of a grand tour, your readership expects that the achievement merits more than 35 words, or less than 5% of the stage report. This is particularly true when the ride occurred before the live TV feed.

    Secondly, I think most of Cycling Weekly’s readership would welcome some analysis of how the other British riders had performed both in the stage itself and the tour overall. Result listing aside, Mr Richardson couldn’t be bothered to post a single word about Russell Downing or Peter Kennaugh.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, Mr Richardson forgets that his article was drafted, not for his own personal Twitter feed, but the website of Britain’s oldest and most respected cycling journal. The doping allegations against Alberto Contador, his impact on the race and the impending UCI hearing are all of course legitimate areas of journalistic debate. However your readers have a right to expect that news articles are calm and rationale, not driven by foam flecked bile.

  • George

    Interesting article, were you on amphetamines when you wrote this? Agree with the Forum comment please don’t write rubbish like this in the magazine I have subscribed to it . Journalism should have some balance and explore view points.

  • ClaudB

    I’ve been trying to ignore this article since I first read but am just so angry about it I had to post my feelings.
    For me it is no more than a dramatic, attention-seeking, “Tabloidy”, rant !!!!

  • Seacilin

    I hate getting involved in this kind of thing but I’m very very disappointed in CW for publishing this article. Whatever happened to balanced objective journalism? I thought CW were better than this.

  • Neil Kent

    Gunter, Rest days and especially this one being right before the most important stage are usually where doping takes place in a race.

    Errr EPO is on the banned list, cyclists still use it though have have been getting away with for years!
    You would have to ask Contador why he used Clenbuterol, but he did use it and it is most unlikely it was accidental.

    As i said he probably used it months ago to lean out while in a training phase and a small amount was in the bag of blood when re-infusing on the rest day.

    Regarding the plastiser test, it is scientifically proven but wouldn’t stand up in court.

    Contador made a mess and has cried like a baby ever since!!

  • Brendan Power

    CAS has all the evidence in front of it (including the 100 pages of ‘Spanish legalise) but have yet to reach a decision. Cycling has press releases and hearsay but have already reached a decision. A slightly ‘holier than thou’ attitude from a magazine that still treats Marco Pantani as a great sportsman.

  • Shaun Green

    Well done Cycling Weekly for putting it as bluntly as you could, within the boundaries you are governed to operate under!

    I love cycling, I am a cyclist and a cycling coach, and I love all forms of racing. I have travelled Europe to follow the races and my heroes, most of whom are now British thankfully, and therefore I believe pretty clean. I have ridden the sportives and other parts of routes to get the feel of just how hard it is; indeed today, whilst running and training camp in the Alps, I rode the Col de la Colombiere and Col d’Aravis, as seen in last year’s Tour.

    But I am very sad for our sport right now, as soon as Bertie took the lead in the Giro, I stopped watching, and that’s not fair for the likes of David Millar, who has been to the darkside, and has returned a different, wiser man. Don’t get me wrong, I took a long, long time to forgive David, only last year I started to believe in him again, and after meeting him in Delhi, and seeing what it meant to him, I knew he was a good man, but had been foolish when a young man. If only we could say the same for Rico, Hamilton, Di Luca, Vino etc, who showed little or no remorse for sullying the name of this sport we love.

    As a subsriber to ‘The Comic’, I hope to see more blunt reporting of this nature, as it is how we all feel. Let’s hope big bald Bjarne gets a copy of this stuck under his nose and reads it!

  • Jon

    Fantastic ride by Millar. And he had the balls to come clean and show genuine remorse whan he was caught doping in 2004 – and has been an outspoken opponent of it ever since. I have a lot of respect for him as a rider and wish him every success.

    He’s a stark contrast to the likes of Contador and Armstrong who want to keep getting away with it and prevent pro cycling from being a fair contest between athletes.

    It seems clear there is some outrageous cheating, covering up and legal manoeuvering going on and I’m glad CW are not sitting idly by helping the dopers pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

  • Slapshot

    Now here was me thinking that stage reports would report on the stage and talk a bit about the winner….must be wrong. What an unsolicited piece of biased, knee jerk journalism, this must be a joke of some type. Contador is riding as he is allowed to do, the garbage rules that the UCI have created allow this, nothing else. If Simon Richardson objects to the fact that Alberto was there perhaps he should start the drive for serious reforms at the UCI. As for the comparison with Armstrong: when Contador starts getting investigated by the authorities for fraud, drug trafficking etc etc etc then compare them right now the sport has a magnanimous winner not driven by the egotistical desire to denigrate the rest of the sport for his own greedy gains.

  • Gunter

    In response to Neil. The fact that the test took place during the tour rest day proves nothing, and your insistence that it does, is precisely what i mean by the “ee-by-gum” attitude.

    Even if you think Contador would dope (and we have no way of looking inside his head), you have to admit there are probably much better ways of doing it than to use an easily detectable substance which is already on the banned list.

    Remember, the rumour about the plasticisers was just that: a rumour. No official source has corroborated it.

  • steve clarke

    Don’t know what to think about Contador and his Giro”win”, I wish that the UCI would get this issue sorted once and for all, not knowing that a rider is guilty or not is making a mockery of our sport.
    With regards to Contador and his possible doping, I still don’t know what to believe, however I do think that the meat story is too far fetched to be true, it reminds me of Basso and his Columbian sweet “story”.
    I agree that cycling has done more than many other sports in regards to drug testing, but I think that we’ve still got a long, long way to go.

  • Jon Freeman

    Why present a balanced view of the various elements of this situation, which wouldn’t provoke much of a response from anyone, when you can present a biased one and provoke lots of feedback to boost your journalistic ego? The art of journalism seems to be, not about facts, but about provoking responses. However, I have to congratulate Mr Richardson on the fact that this is the first Cycling Weekly website article that I have read in quite a while in which I have yet to notice an error in spelling or grammar! Maybe I should reread it…..

  • Tusher

    Well done Simon RIchardson!

  • Anthony Slack

    Cheating is about not being honest! If Contador was honest, he would have resigned his 2010 TDF title. He admits to the drugs in his system. He won by seconds. An honest person would have declared their innocence, but handed the title back and awaited the results of a proper enquiry. Hand it over ‘Bertie’!

  • adam

    Jeremy Whittle’s book ‘Bad Blood’ sums it up. Cycling journos knew that Lance on the cover sold copies… they knew if they said anything against certain people, they would be ‘spitting in the soup’ and on the black list of people not granted photos/interviews. Therefore they had to tow the line… until a few (many) got too pissed off and too knowing about what went on. My feeling is, as with any sport/business/relationship, that what the general public know is but half the story. Journos with frequent access and ‘intimate’ relations with pros probably ‘know’ a lot more than they let on….

  • Sandro
  • dai bananas brother

    the commentor on Eurosport should have a ‘dope’ test, never mind Bertie. He tells us nothing regarding Peter Kennaugh and Russell Downing on the last stage and then completely messes up the simple mathematics of the time difference overall between Rodriguez and Kreuziger……….as if it matters in the larger scheme of things.

  • si

    In a few short words,…..I will never use your web site or buy your mag again. I can’t believe the crap you write on here.

  • JS

    Chapeau Simon Richardson. A superb piece of commentary. I hope that more cycling publications follow suit.

  • John

    Sorry, i’ve lost the drift. The opening lines mentioned that David Millar had won a stage in the Giro. How many Brits have managed that? Then the article descended into a rant about the validity of Contador’s win. I agree with Alistair this should have been a seperate article. And what about forgiveness? Yes, David Millar made a mistake and has paid the penalty. But he has not gone away, far from it. He has worked hard to regain the respect he deserves. His roll in the aftermath of the tragedy earlier in the Giro was carried out with great dignity. His result in the time trial was brilliant – well done!!

  • dodg

    Thank you Simon for saying it as it is.

  • keith warmington

    I’m completely with Simon Richrdson on this one .it’s time the cycling press showed some teeth with regard to the Contadors and Armstrongs of this world, and come to that the authorities who,ve let this sorry case drag on and on .Most of my non cycling mates think the sport is a dirty joke and however hard I try , having followed it for fifty years , I sometimes have to agree. You have to remember that for every doper there’s a clean rider who’s career was screwed because his place on the podium was taken by a cheat. Still if you feel Alberto gets treated badly buy the latest copy of Procycling where he pours his heart out to the magazine alongside some lovely cheesey portraits ……perfect for those posters who think him a humble and generous man !

  • Johnjo

    I can’t belive some of the comments on here !
    Contador was found to have a banned substance in his body when tested so he is guilty.
    Every time he is on a stage of any race it is in the back of everyones mind that he shouldn’t be there.
    The sport I love has become a joke and defending him just makes it worse.

  • Neon

    “Bjarne Riis, the man who doped to win the 1996 Tour de France and then showed no remorse when admitting it years ago, had the temerity to suggest he runs a clean team.”

    Wow hope IPC can afford good legal advice. Libel clear cut there unless you have proof otherwise that Saxo Bank isn’t clean. And why get facts in the way of a good rant, I can remember Riis in tears in his press conference saying his Yellow Jersey is in a box at home waiting to be taking back.

    Disgraceful article and I will never buy this joke of a magazine again.

  • james

    That is quite possibly the most amateurish, one sided, libelous articles I have ever read. Is the editor on holiday something? I too am upset with the length of time it has taken for the case to be finalised but your comments are ridiculous. What one earth has Armstrong go to do with this? Currently Armstrong is innocent and Contador is allowed to continue to race until his CAS hearing comes up. Thats all your article needed to say.

  • Soren Vestergaard

    Reading this article takes me back to my schooldays. It reminds me of a pubertygirl who gets ditched by her boyfriend and then really really starts to hate him. In that situation it is usually wise just nod and stay clear of any discussion. She will only see one side. And all facts will be stretched till the fit the puzzle of her view.
    But you are not a schoolgirl I pressume. So please. Could we have a little grown up journalism? There are lots of subjects to deal with in this case. Lots of relevant discussions. Lots of questions to be asked. So what if you do that instead of wasting our time speculating and concludibg on things you clearly have little knowledge. For instance you could ask CAS why the case is delayed? Who is pulling the strings?
    Oh. And by the way. In most democratic countries you are innocent till proven guilty. Contador already has the spanish courts word that he is innocent. So please wait with your conclusions of guilt till after the verdict of CAS.

  • adam

    It astonishes me that people still say ‘Why would a top rider risk everything by taking X,Y orZ..?’

    Cart before the horse… complete fuzzy thinking.

    I’ve never been a big fan of Millar, but at least he admitted it and takes a stand on doping now. The surest sign, for me, that a rider is a little iffy is when they answer a doping question with something like ‘That’s not important/I’ve never tested positive/next question’. Yes, they may get fed up with those questions, and yes they may even be innocent but by not taking a stance on it, they are complicit in the ‘not spitting in the soup’ ideology that goes a long way to helping ruin the sport.

  • lucybears

    “A doper wins the final stage and a suspected doper wins the overall………pro cycling needs sorting out.”
    The above comment is absolutely true, but does the author think that Millar was under the influence when he won yesterdays stage, or that the overall winner was doping during this Giro? Pro cycling is the ONLY sport that is genuinely trying to sort it out by testing for ALL drugs (note that most sports, even now, don’t even bother to test for EPO because of the cost) and with the introduction of the ‘biological passport’. Read the words of a man who was there, Cam Meyer, team-mate of that doper mentioned by Paul B, who I don’t think was there as I can’t see him on the startlist.
    (& Kathy, +1)

  • Raquel

    Birnie on twitter defends this article by saying contador fanboys are the only ones who’d be offended by it. not so -this is just bad journalism – it’s not an op ed but it’s turned out to be one. even as an op ed it would be bad -sure, other journos are calling it a farce, but in op eds that are well researched. the lowest point of this article? “translating the documents from Spanish meant the UCI had to wait until well into the new year to come to a decision on their next move, meanwhile RFEC complained about the delay. Now it looks like they’re doing the same with CAS so their star rider can ride the Tour. Considering Contador’s only argument is ‘it was the steak’, and considering he has no proof to back that up, there seems little need for 100 page documents written in complex Spanish legalese.” i’d hardly called his defence “nothing” and it is egregious to ignore it – whatever your thoughts on his guilt.

  • Mike T.

    Feel better after your little rant Richardson? This wasn’t the time and place for it. You abused your privilege. Graham Watson should demand that his fine pictures be removed.

  • theswordsman

    Interesting philosophy. You’ve got a 28 year old who has just won his sixth grand tour in dominating fashion, under intense scrutiny with daily drug testing to go with the 13 pink jerseys. The UCI will test the heck out of booth his samples and his Bio Passport, because they could win 3 million Euros of his salary last year & this if he’s cheating. If Contador is cleared, and continues to win, people will want to read about him, but Cycling Weekly has taken the brave stance of driving off his fans forever. Excellent business decision. Do you think that he just had a dominant Giro clean, but needed 5 billionths of a gram of Clenbuterol to struggle at the Tour de France? I only saw this article because others tweeted about how awful it was. Be proud.

  • Kathy Price

    Contador has always shown himself to be a humble and generous man, and has proved it again in this Giro, gifting two stages to others which he could easily have won himself. IMO, there is only one person not showing respect to cycling or to the race in this article, and that is you, Simon Richardson.

  • Paul B

    The final stage (TT) if the Giro was won by a convicted doper and the overall race went to a suspected doper – what a great advert for our sport. I don’t often agree with CW’s editorials but the comments about Riis are spot on. He knew how to cheat the system when he was a rider and as a DS his riders were in the top ranks. He took a former Australian track rider and sprinter and turned him into a Paris Roubaix winner. I have serious doubts about any rider that has ridden for Riis. That may be unfair of me but as long as the dopers are still part of the sport how can we possibly have any confidence in any result? The Contador saga has to be resolved soon. The amount of drug found in his sample may have been too small to have any affect but that could indicate just how much was left of a much bigger dose. Postponing the outcome of his case does Contador and cycling no favours.

  • Neil

    FAO Gunter How is it conceivable that Contador on the last rest day before the last mountain stage, where his main rival was only seconds behind fails a test for clenbuterol????

    Contaminated meat, absolutely laughable excuse!!

    More likely blood transfusion which contained traces of clenbuterol from previous use when aim was to cut fat levels. Struggling with his weight maybe around dauphine race, also surprise lack of form at this time!

  • Pete

    Hello hello, someone’s had a few drinks too many! What’s the betting this article will be pulled by tomorrow morning?

    The trouble is Simon, there’s also the possibility that Contador isn’t doped… after all he didn’t stick a minute into David Millar today did he?

    When Contador becomes as seriously unpleasant and arrogant as the Legendary American, when Contador rides through the mountains with his entire team climbing like mountain goats, then perhaps you can vent some cynicism – meanwhile I think you need to temper things a little.

  • blueryder

    Another pathetic report from an Armstrong sycophant who is obviously upset that Armstrong is being exposed as the cheat and bully that some of us have always suspected.
    Armstrong may even have had Contador’s steak spiked with Clenbutarol in attempt to discredit a far superior cyclist.
    Perhaps this posting will not be allowed because I am not a Lance fan?

  • Colin Organ

    That’s a bit harsh on Contador, I take it was ok for Millar to dope?

  • Mike

    This is a joke!!!! A doper wins the final stage and a suspected doper wins the overall………pro cycling needs sorting out. Life time bans are the only way or at least more than a two year ban.

  • barry

    Mr Richardson, as other prople have pointed out, this article is full of inaccuraces..
    To quote McQuaid
    In February Pat MacQuaid, president of the UCI, told us how the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) had sent the UCI their overly complex and overly long documents concerning the case just days before Christmas – as late as they possibly could.

    He said that they had not received the paperwork when in fact they had received it days before.
    The guy is a conpulsive liar and what happened to the questions that the readers were asked to send in for him ??

  • RickRob

    Congrats to Simon Richardson for putting into words what many long time fans race followers are thinking. Anyone else notice how easy Contador looked on the climbs? Reminded me of that Lance
    chap in 99, 2000, etc etc UCI need to act much quicker and more thoroughly to stop grand tours turning into a farce.

    Anyone remember when top GC riders used to have off days and have to battle like dogs?

  • Tom

    Sums up the situation well. I too have not seen a CW news article quite this despondent, but it is rightly so.

    Regardless of the outcome of this and the Armstrong case, rebuilding pro cycling’s reputation will be more of an uphill struggle than the toughest cols.

  • Derek Ortt

    Alessandro Petacchi kept his results from the time he was cleared to when his CAS hearing started.

    Using that precedent, there is no chance Contador loses his, so the article is flawed

  • Matt

    Mike says that he used to love pro cycling and now doesn’t… why? It is a far cleaner sport than it used to be!

    Unless he was on the juice throughout the Giro, Contador has clearly proven that he can destroy anybody and is a far superior athlete. The amount of it that was found was microscopic and the riders are tested in training (especially the top rider in the world), so he is not going to use a drug that lingers in your system for a long time! Oh and there are plenty of farmers who use it.

  • Gunter

    Sorry to be harsh here, but this is idiocy: Cycling Weekly articles regularly remind me of one of those self-righteous “ee-by-gum” idiots you find in pubs everywhere – You decide what your opinion is first before interpreting everything that follows as evidence for your pre-judgement.

    Let’s just get one thing straight: Its perfectly conceivable that the regularly-tested, high-profile athlete Contador, did not deliberately take an easily detectable banned substance.

  • Derek Ortt

    Please get your facts straight CW and do a bit of reading of past CAS cases

    Alessandro Petacchi was suspended upon appeal and he KEPT his results from the time he was cleared until the hearing began

  • arronski

    Way to go Millar, great stage win !

  • Simon Lamb

    This is quite possibly the worst piece of journalism I have ever read. You standards are dropping so low it is becoming a joke. Please before you become a mockery yourselves please sort this article out or remove it.

  • Alexander Nolan

    Having an editorial view on big issues is important for any publication, but you show as little respect for Contador in this article as you claim he shows towards the Giro. He has been declared innocent by his federation, so why should he ride as if he is guilty before the CAS has even begun to make a decision?

  • alastair leith

    Look, I know we need to discuss the Contador thing, but in a separate article, please. there was virtually nothing about Millar’s victory in this one! Give the guy a bit more of a mention in an article about his own win!

  • KingKongnito

    Wow, this article seemed more like a forum post, than a news article. I know nothing about journalism rules and such, regarding slander, libel etc.. but I’ve never read anything quite like this before in a paper.

    “Contador – who is showing more and more of the traits that Lance Armstrong did at his most ostentatious”
    “Yes Bjarne, we know exactly what sort of team you run.”
    “Not only did they roll over and clear Contador for no good reason, they have helped him beat the system every step of the way.”

    So much gold in there, basically accusing Bjarne of running a dirty team and declaring Dertie Bertie as guilty.

    I rated this article excellent, but lol I wonder how Graham Watson feels about having his picture accompanying it.

  • MIKE

    Pro Cycling, the biggest embarasment in sport.
    Yes, even including Football.
    It makes me so sad that a sport I once loved and admired has sunk so low. The so called management of the UCI should resign en mass, If they had any dignity. Which means they will not.