2008 Teams Announced | Amgen Tour of California

I cannot believe that the organizers have invited (Crack) Rock Racing to participate in the Amgen Tour of California …

This is a team that has hired alleged (and in at least one rider’s case, convicted) dopers like Santiago Botero, Oscar Sevilla, and Tyler Hamilton. This is a team that is actively consorting with a rider that is currently banned from the sport for a doping violation (in Floyd Landis). This is a team that is losing sponsors (HED for sure, and others are rumored) because of these associations.

Ah, but this is also a team that signed on as a “founding sponsor” of the Amgen Tour of California itself … I guess when you buy your way into a race, it wouldn’t really be cool to exclude the team.

But with all the ridicule that Amgen, makers of the most widely abused performance-enhancing drug, has taken for sponsoring a race, why not add a team that seemingly turns a blind eye to doping to the mix as well.

And people wonder why this sport is going to hell in a handbasket.

I know Sager has got at least one compadre on the squad, and there are a lot of other good riders on the team; but Michael Ball reminds me of John Wordin (and the whole Mercury/Viatel fiasco) … and I’ll feel sorry for the rank-and-file riders when the team implodes mid-season.

And I really hope I’m wrong, for their sake.