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Vinko Polončič

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Despite managing a pretty decent ride today (by driving to the coast) Itís snowing and we haven't trained all that much, and being southern Italy (where training indoors is a rarity) there is only one turbo for all of us! I managed a ride outside a couple of days ago, too but the snow is settling now so weíre just relaxing by the fire instead. If you havenít read my report on Etruschi, I urge you to do so:

Since Iím at a bit of a loose end here in Polla I have had time to get to know some of my team mates better. Vinko is our director sportive and heís a bit of a character, a bit of a legend and held in high regard by all the other riders and staff on the team. Itís hard to be entertaining when you donít share a common language but Vinko manages it in a good away: mostly by calling me John McCloud or David Copperfield, I donít understand either but itís pretty funny nonetheless.

He comes straight out of the Eastern Bloc, he represented Yugoslavia in the 1980 Olympics, he didnít finish the road race (just look at the time gaps: but he managed to bring his team home in 8th for the 100km team time trial: a few seconds ahead of the Brits (of which there are some recognisable names, also in the road race).

That was in 1980, at that time Eastern Bloc riders couldnít ride pro (but many raced full time for their country, such as the East Germans) and so tended to fill up the top end of the amateur world championship result sheets. Vinko was one of the first to change all of that though. In 1983 he became the first ever Yugoslavian cyclist to turn professional (and the second ever from the other side of the iron curtain). At the age of 27 he joined the Italian Malvor-Botecchia team and rode professionally for only 2 years, but for both of those years he rode the Giro díItalia.

He is now a Slovenian rather than a Yugoslavian and directs our Croatian registered team. He has many stories to relate about hardcore Eastern European training techniques and his time as a pro. I shall relate them to you during the year as I get to hear more of them.

And nowadays:

It's been a bad week for cycling, the Lance Armstrong case has been dropped and although the WADA want all the juicy evidence I find it hard to believe that they will get it.

The Contador news is a classic good news bad news thing and it isn't the first time it's happened. It's good he finally got banned, it's obviously bad for the sport that the best rider around was doping.

Here is what I wrote in 2010 when I heard of the positive:

It's also pretty bad that he is not admitting and a lot of prominent former riders (and many Spaniards) feel that the decision is wrong, read this: and this: oh and this: France is pretty ace sometimes!

I got in the local newpaper again, which can only be good:

This is what the internet was invented for:

Updated 09-02-2012 at 02:33 PM by David Mclean

2012 - Meridiana Kamen