le Tour de France, 2007
Rasmussen was sacked yesterday evening by his team, Rabobank. Just to confuse some readers further, I agree with this action.
Commentators are also agreeing with the decision. There has been widespread suspicion among the peleton, of Rasmussen’s honesty regarding his pre-Tour preparation. This includes other cyclists contradicting Rasmussen’s claims of where he was during training.
Cycling is a heavily individualistic sport, with fierce sense of independence. If mother’s little helper in all its variations is to be driven out of the Tour/s, it has to be by the pressure, decision and determination of the riders, not by bureaucrats and meddling by journalists and governments.
I doubt that there will ever come a time when the cat-and-mouse game ceases in its entirity. Meanwhile, let a sense of proportion and a detachment from the chaos and confusion rule.
Let the circus storm its way around France, flashing colour as it goes.
I love evolution. At least Rabobank did not make the ridiculous decision to withdraw the whole team, as had Cofidis and Astana in the previous two days.
Vinokourov [Astana] should never have continued. His leg was in a ridiculous mess. No wonder he tried ‘assistance’. Astana made serious tactical and managerial errors by holding back Klöden to support a badly injured Vinokourov.
The Spaniard, Contador [Discovery Channel], is now the effective leader. He is also the White Jersey, that is best under-25 rider. This is a phenomenal performance so far.
Currently, the Australian, Cadel Evans [Predictor-Lotto], is second, and American, Levi Leipheimer [Discovery Channel], is third. (There is no official leader, wearer of the Yellow Jersey, today because of the Rasmussan ejection.)
And there are Spaniards everywhere: 8 of the first 14, 13 of the first 25.
Floyd Landis has brought out a book on his life and the ‘controversy’.
Landis has yet to be found ‘guilty’. He is appealing the doping charges from last year when he won in rather ‘spectacular’ style. Meanwhile, Bjarne Riis has admitted to using EPO during his 1996 victory. He has apparently now been stricken from the record book.
I believe no appeal to the appropriate authority has yet been turned down, so it is very likely that Landis will eventually be cleared. The French laboratory have made a whole series of errors, at least so it is claimed.
The French are not highly enthusiastic with the great dominance of American riders in recent years, let alone the bête noire, the great conquering Armstrong.
what do I care!!
15/10/2007: Oscar Pereiro is awarded the 2006 Yellow Jersey.
The circus is coming to town, and I’ll be there at the roadside to watch the greatest athletic event on planet Earth.
It is usual for the Tour to go ‘abroad’ diffidently most years. This year, the Tour de France starts in the UK, then a touch of France and into Belgium. It even says hello to Spain.
This year, the Tour goes clockwise. The first few days mosey lazily along flat roads. Well, ‘flat’ in Tour terms. The sprinters make some points, but the real Tour is won and lost in the Alps and Pyrenees, with minor contributions from time trials. There is the traditional, very short 8km opener (Prologue), this year on the 7th July in London - racing past St. James’s Park, through Hyde Park and back past Green Park; a 55km race around the Cathar Albi country on the 21st; and a 55km dash from Cognac to Angoulême on the 28th July.
The Tour de France
sets off on the 7th of July.
This is a good manufacturer to check out, if you are considering buying a new car.
This year, Skoda are returning to their roots and again producing bicycles.
There are 20 stages, of which six are mountain stages [Alps 3, Pyrenees 3] and two are individual against-the-clock [contre-le-montre] time trials. There are two rest days. The first day - the Prologue - is a brief against-the-clock stage. The total distance ridden will be 3,570 kilometres, or 2,218 miles.
This year, there are 21 teams, with
nine participating riders in each - 189 cyclists in all.
The American Agency of Antidoping still has not pronounced a verdict on the case of the Yellow Jersey 2006, Floyd Landis, who apparently showed a positive result on a blood test taken after the 17th stage. It is possible that Landis could lose his title as winner of the 2006 TdF. While the decision has not been made, the first second, and third positions remain unconfirmed.
So the current offical results are:
Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago,
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© abelard, 2007, 26 july
the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/france/le-tour_2007.php