Russian girls looking for you! More bike racing in the news today

Ever consumed leftovers that have sat in the refrigerator for too long?

Apparently Italian cyclist Ricardo Ricco did this, only by transfusing himself with 25 day old blood, with disastrous and almost fatal consequences.

These days, to follow professional cycling is to wallow in sleaze. To paraphrase Lance Armstrong, "it's not about the bike" -- it's about pharmacology, phlebotomy, legal maneuverings, etc. Any spectacular athletic exploit in a race will be met, not with praise and approbation, but rather doubt and suspicion.

So it's entirely appropriate that the ads popping up on pirated video streams of cycling coverage feature absurdly voluptuous "Russian" women allegedly seeking companionship (these screen shots are from 2010).

Corruption, human trafficking, degradation: There's not a lot of glory here.

The only further comments I would make on this topic are:

1 -- Back when I moved from Burlington to Waterbury I tossed out a stack of yellowing copies of Velonews from the mid '90s into the '00 decade -- the height of the doping era (and, coincidentally, the time of Lance Armstrong's rise to worldwide fame).

I wish I had saved these fading and rather uncritical publications -- they could have been used to produce an annotated history of the pharmacological assist.

2 -- Somehow along the way, a post I wrote about Tyler Hamilton's (another guy who knows something about blood transfusions) ex-wife became the most viewed page on this site. Strange but true.

This isn't the first time Ricardo Ricco has turned up on this mostly unread blog -- see this post from 2008.

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