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Old 2007-07-26, 14:08   #45
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Three dismissals for doping in 24 hours? Looking very bleak over there...from an article on NPR:

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Those who have already lost faith in the Tour include two German broadcasters who dropped their coverage, a Swiss newspaper that stopped writing about it and sponsors such as Adidas who are considering pulling the plug.
Very discouraging indeed.

Norm
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Old 2007-07-26, 15:16   #46
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On the contrary. I think this is the best thing that could happen. The leader being kicked out shows the cyclists that the officials are serious and those who are still doping will have the fire under their bums now. Imagine if Armstrong had been caught and thrown out in 2004 or before. It would have sent shock-waves and cleaned up the sport. Something similar is under way now.

PS: The withdrawl of ZDF and ARD had more to do with money and sponsorship than anything else. They didn't stop covering the Olympics when Ben Johnson was caught, did they?

Last fiddled with by garo on 2007-07-26 at 15:18
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Old 2007-07-26, 16:40   #47
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On the contrary. I think this is the best thing that could happen.
Logically, I agree. But still discouraging. I have a friend who rode professionally in Europe years ago, and it was very disenchanting when he described how prevalent the doping was. Until then, I naively thought the sport was one of the cleaner ones. You're right, though- it will survive, and be better for it.

Norm
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Old 2007-07-26, 18:40   #48
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Rasmussen sacked! Which is good except that Contador is in the yellow jersey now and that doesn't look fair either. Evans though is clean so I'm rooting for Evans baby!
If Contador is riding clean, why shouldn't he be in yellow? Anyway, apparently the TdF organization had no one in yellow today, so he'll probably don it starting tomorrow.

I was actually thinking how unfair it was that only one of Evans and Leipheimer could stand on the 3rd podium slot - both have been such worthy contenders - but that would appear to be solved now.

Despite the bad PR, I think it's a good thing that not just the organizers, but now also the teams [and an increasing number of the major sponsors] are enforcing a no-tolerance policy. In Ras' case, it doesn't even matter if he doped, because he clearly lied to his team management. If you or I lie to our boss at work, we are subject to being fired. And of course sometimes the fact that you lied about such a thing as your whereabouts during the month leading up to the Tour is more damning than a positive doping test: A test may be flawed, but if you lied, you must've had a reason to do so.

So assuming [hoping] the reamining top 3 GC contenders are clean, turns out to be a great Tour for Discovery: winner of the Tour [barring a disaster in the final ITT], a second guy on the podium, 3 guys in the top 10, 2 stage wins [Leipheimer now winner of yesterday's], best young rider, best team. And Evans gets no worse than #3 on the podium, and quite likely #2, a well-deserved reward for his monumental effort to stay with the climbers in the big mountains.

Assuming they were clean, feel bad for Rasmussens' lieutenants Menchov, Dekker and "Dr. Teeth" Boogerd, especially since this was likely Boogie's final Tour.
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Old 2007-07-27, 11:30   #49
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If Contador is riding clean. That's a big if given his Puerto connections.
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Old 2007-07-30, 17:45   #50
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Let's hope Contador doesn't succumb to "Jan Ullrich syndrome." Although, given that he - much like that other dude whose name escapes me - had to claw back from a near-death experience, hopefully he won't take any of this stuff for granted. also, I think Johan Bruyneel is far too good a manager and judge of character to let his riders spiral out of control like the T-Mobsters let happen to JU.

Despite all the controversy, that final ITT on Saturday was un-be-lievable.

Enjoyed it when LA joined Liggett and Sherwen for coverage of several of the final laps on the Champs yesterday - especially when he was talking about the mentality of the sprinters, that was classic. ;)

So now we must suffer through the annual post-TdF withdrawal, and the realization that summer is on the wane - the big excitement in cycling for the next few months will be all the rider team transfers and rumors thereof. I'm particularly following this new American-sponsored Team Slipstream - apparently they already have signed up a couple big names [American Jason Vandevelde announced he's going there on yesterday's Versus broadcast]. Vandevelde is on CSC, and given that his teammate Dave Zabriskie is apparently deeply upset at the team-mandated you-must-wear-our-sponsor's-shoes [instead of the usual wear-whatever-shoes-suit-you-best-as-long-as-you-paste-the-official-shoe-sponsor's-logo-on-them] which led to the knee trouble that forced him out of this year' s Tour, would not be at all surprised to see Dave Z joining him. Like much of this year's race, it's like a giant Telenovela on wheels. ;)

Great year for the Discos, also for Spain - winner of the Tour, 6 riders in the top 10. Wow.

Garo, you mentioned that Contador's name had come up in Operación Puerto - more on that here:

VeloNews | On the list, off the list - Alberto Contador and Operación Puerto

Details how Contador was initially lumped into the Operación Puerto names, but eventually cleared because his name appeared only in non-doping contexts.
Which is not proof of innocence, but at least he seems to be in the clear w.r.to that particular investigation.

p.s.: Ask, and ye shall receive: check out the headline "Vaughters confirms Millar, Zabriskie, Vande Velde to Slipstream" on TdFblog.com
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Old 2007-07-30, 18:37   #51
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Thanks for the link. Glad to know that his connection to Puerto was a mix-up. I do very much hope he is clean and it seems quite likely he is.

BTW, the near-death experience never stopped the other rider or did it?

Contador is lucky that he is now in a changed environment. The controls are stricter and the tests are better. People cannot get away with stuff they used to 10 years ago.
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Old 2007-07-30, 18:46   #52
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Quote:
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Contador is lucky that he is now in a changed environment. The controls are stricter and the tests are better. People cannot get away with stuff they used to 10 years ago.
At least, we hope. ;)

Speaking of team rumors, they are flying about who the new sponsor or USPS/Discovery might be. On this dailypeloton thread, someone suggested it might be Google, someone esle that Lance was really in Paris to wine and dine prospective team sponsors, etc. At which point someone cracked wise: check out post #116.
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Old 2007-07-30, 19:20   #53
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One more question: with Moreau tanking it after he lost 3 minutes on Stage 11, the top French rider on GC this year was in 27th (!) place. Is that the lowest ever for the TdF?

[BTW, if I were Moreau's team boss or sponsor, I'd be seriously pissed off at his lack of effort in the final week. He could've still tried for a top-10 spot, instead he just totally stopped trying.]

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2007-07-30 at 19:29
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Old 2007-07-30, 19:33   #54
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At least, we hope. ;)
We do indeed. One would like to think there has been a change.
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Old 2007-07-30, 22:32   #55
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Quote:
One would like to think there has been a change.
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