Saturday, October 4, 2008
WTF Patrick Blanc-?!?.................
Patrick Blanc, the French ski mountaineering racing champion, who was arguably the greatest racer in the short history of competitive ski mountaineering has just returned a 2nd positive urine sample for EPO (3rd generation). The B sample was taken after Blanc's A sample tested positive after the Patrouille des Glaciers, long distance team world championship race in Switzerland, April 19. I think this is a real shame. While in France last winter I meet Patrick a few times and talked quite a bit to his 2 younger brothers, who were really nice, ethusatic guys. The question I am asking is why?? I could understand Patrick, after struggling with injuries and form, wanting to get back to past greatness (2x Pierra Menta, 2x PDG w/record, and 3x world champion!), but still why?? So he could win a wheel of Beaufort cheese, a cow bell from Switzerland, a new pair of ski's?!? Crazy! For me the great thing about ski mountaineering racing is how small time it really is, it's not like cycling which is littered with sponsors, drug cheats and way to much money and pressure. I had a e-mail from friend Pierre, a former Pierra Menta winner who raced against Patrick, he said it was very amazing how much Patrick improved in the last month of competition at the end of last winter after struggling just get on the French team for the world champs and struggling to find a team mate for the Pierra Menta. Sadly, it makes sense now how Patrick was able to improve so much, so quickly. I really hope this is not a sign of things to come................... More info on skimountaineering.org and Patrick Blanc's blog
"The skier who forsakes the lifts to climb under his own power to a mountain summit is a very different person from the downhill only piste basher and is often regarded by the latter as something of a curiosity.
But he was the creator of the sport; and possibly with him lies the future"
-Robin Fedden, The book of Europen Skiing, 1966