Wednesday, July 25, 2007

RASMUSSEN OUT

ANOTHER SHAKE UP. Cyclingnews is reporting that Michael Rasmussen has been pulled from the Tour de France by his own Rabobank team for lying about his real whereabouts during out-of-competition training--the time in which he was unavailable and unaccountable for UCI drug testing. He told his team leaders and the press that he was in Mexico (where his wife is from); apparently that wasn't the truth. He was, in fact, in Italy.

Here's the Cyclingnews story.

Wow. Like David Millar said about Vinokourov's doping and Tour departure yesterday (was that just yesterday?): "I'm speechless." Well, not for very long.

NEW TOP THREE. Well...that moves 24-year old Spaniard Alberto Contador into the Yellow Jersey, Australian Cadel Evans into 2nd, and American Levi Leipheimer in to 3rd.

STEADY EDDIE. I've said several times that Leipheimer is going to be a podium finisher by attrition, if nothing else. So, there you go. Levi hasn't won a stage (unless Rasmussen is stripped of today's stage win, which I doubt) or been with the stage winner, but he's never been far behind. No flash. No Lance dance. He's just there as a top-notch cyclist. He deserves a podium (top 3) finish.

AUSSIE CHAMP? And atop that podium will likely be...Cadel Evans. He is the superb time trial rider of all contenders. He should win Stage 19 by several minutes over Contador and Leipheimer and ride into Paris the champion...

...unless we have ANOTHER revelation.

4 comments:

Jeffrey G. said...

This gets sadder by the day ... I came across one of your pre-race posts in which you were hopeful about this tour like me:

"So, with this I mind for the sake of keeping reality somewhere on the horizon, I'll reengage the Tour de France. I do so with hope at heart. It may take years for the integrity and luster of the Tour de France and professional cycling to be restored...so let the restoration begin."

Little did you know how prophetic those words have come to be. No doubt its going to take many years after this tour for restoration. Ahh! But that's what hope is all about (especially from a biblical perspective).

So here's to hope!

bikehiker said...

Yes, jeffrey g., there is a silver lining. Yes, here's to hope!

David said...

I'm happy about this. Gut feeling but I think Contador, Leip, and Evans are not only great riders in this sport but also drug free. I feel like the best and clean riders are going to win this tour. That's good. Testing and other controls have worked.

Ron said...

Bikehiker,
Re. Wednesday's Historical stage,
I watched the very latest replay after the Rasmussen news broke, and can't ever remember having such an eerie, dramatic feeling during a sporting event: witnessing #1,2,3,& 4 Tour riders dueling it out, "one of or the most classic battles in the history of Col de Bisque", while knowing what the announcers did not know at the time; Rasmussen was/is dirty!
It's been an historical shock-per- day this week, and I now agree with your earlier assessment: no time like the present to clean up cycleing!
Here's to new beginnings. I can only pray that Discovery Team is clean, that way the celebration this weekend of having 9 strait years of Discovery riders on the podium (and all possibly wearing yellow/possibly American!)will be all the more sweet!
What a stage, the effort by Levi, Contador & Evans, hanging with and pulling a cheater most of the way up that hill will forever be burned in my memory.
Cycleing is great, Cycleing will survive, Viva le Tour!