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What's with the Tour this year? [Jul. 25th, 2007|05:02 pm]
[Current Mood |bewildered]

I follow the Tour de France casually each year. This year it seems like riders are being kicked out right and left -- doping violations, failed drug tests, transfusions, et cetera et cetera. A lot of big names have been suspended recently but this... this is just incredible. I would not be especially surprised if the Tour itself were cancelled for the year.

What's going on? Does anyone know?

[User Picture]From: clubjuggler
2007-07-26 12:33 am (UTC)
I just found out about it 2 hours ago and was completely shocked! This, I believe, is unprecedented. I still think the Tour will go on, though, just because they're not willing to admit defeat.

My big question now is, "Will Contador wear the Yellow Jersey tomorrow?" If I had to guess, I would say no. Rasmussen handily beat him and Leipheimer this morning and if I were Contador, I would wait at least a day before putting that on myself. It will be interesting to see, though. The Tour officials might actually insist and give him no choice. They've been known to do that before.

As far as the wider implications, I think this sends a very clear signal to all riders out there. Even if you're the Maillot Jaune, if you have any hint of deception or violations, you're going to get nailed. Personally, I'm good with that. If what they're saying about Rasmussen is true (that instead of being in Mexico with his wife when he missed his drug tests, he was in Italy with an as yet unnamed doctor), then chances are he's probably dirty. The evidence has yet to come out, but his team found out for sure today that he had been lying to them. That's what prompted them to pull him out and even go so far as to fire him from the team! Where there's smoke, there's usually fire. Not always, but it would take an iron-clad explanation to believe otherwise, and so far that's not been forthcoming.

What a mess, though. Especially after last year's jaleo (a Spanish word meaning mess, screwup, catastrophe and more). You'd think the riders would have learned.
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[User Picture]From: callicrates
2007-07-26 02:16 am (UTC)
I can think of some rather more colorful terms than "screwup" that probably describe the situation a bit better. What a total fiasco.

I feel awful for all the riders out there who train hard and ride a clean race. I think all these high-profile busts must be giving the sport a bad name. Maybe that's what it takes to get the point across -- kind of like the suspensions in the NFL -- but it's also sure to affect some people who have done nothing wrong.

One thing's for sure. This is not what I wanted to see when I started watching this year's Tour.
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[User Picture]From: willowisp
2007-07-26 12:53 am (UTC)
I just hope this doesn't re-open speculation on Lance Armstrong.

Having seen, first person, the ravages of cancer, I have no doubt that none of the drugs used to rebuild him even made up for the initial loss, but that won't stop some vindictive people.
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[User Picture]From: callicrates
2007-07-26 02:17 am (UTC)
I'm still not convinced that Lance is human. No mere human could pull off some of the things he's done.
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[User Picture]From: clubjuggler
2007-07-26 03:29 am (UTC)
From what I've heard about his practice regimen, the things he did were because he practiced himself to a level no one else did. He was a perfectionist and kept at it until he was satisfied. He also honed the use of his team to help him and technology to help his team. That really hadn't been done to the level Team Discovery did when he first started winning and although all the teams do that now, Team Discovery still has quite a bit of a lead there (even with the confusion of losing Lance last year). Case in point, they now have 2 of the top 3 spots.
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[User Picture]From: turnberryknkn
2007-09-03 12:23 pm (UTC)
Hey -- happy (belated) birthday, Andy. :-)

(I sincerely apologize for being on a three-day back-to-back ER shift deathmarch until yesterday late evening, and not getting to this until a day later.)

I would like your e-mail address -- would you mind dropping me a line at huo_j@kids.wustl.edu? Many thanks. :-)
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