It may seem like an odd thing to say right now but there is only good news and good news coming out of the doping positive of Danilo "The Killer" Di Luca.
Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue - I still can't help but think, "really Di Luca? Are you that f@#$%&g stupid?? - Lance Armstrong, Twitter.
For those who missed the headlines, Di Luca was suspended on Friday (AEST) after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test taken a week before the start of the Giro d'Italia. We now await its confirmation, usually a formality.
This is Di Luca's third serious career brush with the anti-doping authorities so clearly he is a hard core recidivist.
"I wasn't expecting this. It was a surprise for me. I'm disappointed," Di Luca told journalists when last seen hightailing it out of the team hotel. "I'll ask for the backup analysis then we can talk again."
No, lets not.
First, we'll never see Di Luca ride a bike again at the professional level, at least I hope not. And secondly it has been heartening to see the reactions of so many riders in the current professional peloton.
Yes there is anger, but I think Di Luca really does represent the past in cycling even though it pays to keep a watchful eye on the present.
Di Luca represents the selfish history of cycling, he is an individual without generosity toward the sport to which he owes a living and those who gave him a first, second and third chance to do something so many others would love to do.
Like so many others of his generation, Di Luca took the chance to instead lie and cheat at every opportunity. He is a taker from cycling not a giver and right now I'm struggling to find anything in the way of a contribution to the sport by the Italian, other than as a poster boy for its negatives.
I'll contrast him with another rider of his generation and an admitted doper, Levi Leipheimer.
Though he wanted to return to the professional peloton after a six-month suspension Leipheimer was not given a second chance by an overly sympathetic team or sponsor, so this week his career came to an end, the American announcing a forced retirement.
“I'm retired, it's just been an unceremonious retirement," he told the Santa Rosa California Press Democrat.
But unlike Di Luca the American gives back to the cycling community, lending his name to a growing event, Levi's Grand Fondo.
"It's not about professional cycling, it's about sharing the love of the bike. That's what it's always been about.”
No life isn't fair, and you often don't get to choose the nature of your own leaving but at least Leipheimer gets it.
The immediate rider reactions to Di Luca's positive have also been heartening, with many of the current generation making a few choice NSFW public statements. Contrast that to a few years ago when you would hear nothing but crickets chirping from within the peloton.
Here is a taste:
In Naples I was genuinely surprised to see his name on the start sheet, with his history he should be unemployable and/or banned for life— Alex Dowsett (@alexdowsett) May 24, 2013
Di Luca! Doping in cycling disappeared but not in your cycling world!0 tolerance for cheaters! Hope you never come back into cycling!— Andre Greipel (@AndreGreipel) May 24, 2013
Di Luca what a complete dickhead!!! From this day forth, Life time bans for EPO and blood dopers!! Get them out and keep them out!!— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) May 24, 2013
Danilo Di Luca, vai a quel paese te e chi ti ha fatto tornare a correre in bici!— Manuel Quinziato (@manuelquinziato) May 24, 2013
Di luca Va fanculo dai !!!!— BEÑAT INTXAUSTI (@benatintxausti) May 24, 2013
Bring in Life Bans for obvious doping infringements. U can't accidentally take epo or blood. Di Luca. What a dickhead.— Greg Henderson (@Greghenderson1) May 24, 2013
With Di Luca we are witnessing an entire generation of a certain kind of rider leave the peloton, some quietly, others with a bang. I for one can't wait for its completion.