I saw it and waited. I thought about it, and now, I have to shout from the rooftops . . . once again. For the 2019 Tour de France, the start will honor Eddie Merkx with a start in Brussells. Like Chanticleer, am I just dreaming or is cycling not in the middle of yet another doping scandal? To switch to a piece of American literature that sums up the redundancy of the UCI, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote one of the most memorable lines in the Great Gatsby:
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
I am also aware that these things are planned in advance, but things change. Surely, someone in leadership (something I believe is truly lacking in the UCI) raised his/her hand and said something about “in the light of things” or something to that effect.
Okay, before some of the Merkx maniacs get upset, let me be clear. Yes, he was a talented rider . . . but so was a guy for a U.S. Postal squad. The base talent is absolutely incredible in both men, but those gifts were eventually assisted by banned substances. For Merkx it was a total of three times (of which we are aware), and he was actually told not to come to the 2007 UCI World Championship because of his ties to doping. So now is the perfect time for this honor? I cannot be the only person who sees this as just the tip of the iceberg, with talk of Team Sky’s implosion on the horizon.
Professional cycling is in a death spiral and lunch is being served in business class.