Kelme -- belated Tour de France thread

News today is that the Tour EPO positive was a Kelme rider. Not surprisingly, Javier Pascual Llorente disclaims the result. Somewhat surprisingly, he blames the French for arranging his positive to embarrass Spanish cycling.

This brings up two observations:

  1. Isn’t EPO supposed to improve your performance? Dude should really ask for his money back from his supplier, because when your best result is a 12th on the lightly-contested 18th stage, that stuff didn’t help you much.

  2. Kelme needed no help from the French to embarrass Spanish cycling, they did a good enough job on their own. Seriously, this was the 2nd time I saw or heard Kelme’s name mentioned since the Prologue. The 1st time was when Latasa was in the breakaway on the Champs Elysees and Phil said “And is that a Kelme rider?”

What happened to Kelme? Their best rider was Llorente 57’ back and they were 14th on the team classification. I don’t remember any good attacks from their team. Gerolsteiner also disapointed with their results, but Kelme disappointed with their effort.

What say you good people? Boo Boo Foo, anyone else?

There were a number of teams that didn’t make much of a showing (Kelme maybe one of the more surprising, though), but what I can stop wondering about (hijack in progress) is,
What must it feel like to be Axel Merckx? I mean, he didn’t finish (dropped around stage 19?) this year. . . what a family name to have to live up to. Must feel like being one of Jesus’ younger siblings.

Didn’t a Kelme rider initiate the big pile up at the end of Stage 1? Maybe that was the biggest impression they made at the tour.

I suppose that in any Tour, half the teams are going to feel that they didn’t perform up to expectations, and half are going to feel that they matched or exceeded their expectaitons. In that sense, Kelme is one of 9 disappointed teams. But what strikes me is that AG2R, Alessio, Credit Agricole, Brioche, Jean Delatour and even iBanesto had riders making efforts. You saw those guys out there. You never saw Kelme. I don’t think that you could “phone in” a Tour performance, but this team came close.

And I agree, Axel will never be as good as his father. There was simply no way he could ever have lived up to the Belgian fan’s expectations of him. In that sense he had a disappointing TdF this year.

I checked on fiddlestick’s memory. José Enrique Gutierrez from Kelme was indeed the first rider to hit the deck on Stage 1, but another (unidentified) rider is blamed for causing Gutierrez to fall.

That still leaves 18 stages unaccounted for…