Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a Dope?

It looks like the Tour de France has gone from a bad scandal to worse. Today's stage winner and the leader in the GC, Denmark's Michael Rasmussen, has been "fired" by his team for "lying" about his whereabouts when he was on holiday. Apparently he had told Rabobank that he was in Mexico when he was, in fact, in Italy. Also apparently, what he was doing in Italy may be suspicious, although there's no proof. Yet.

The official TDF site is in denial. This link is from this evening at 10:25 p.m. EDT. Still no mention of their leader being out of the race. What I hate is that I was up at the crack of dawn this morning anticipating an incredible stage--one where Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer would give Rasmussen all he could handle as they tried to take a bite out of his leading time. As it turned out, the stage was all that and more. On the final HC climb, Spain's Contador, the American hope Leipheimer, Cadel Evans from Australia, and Rasmussen were locked into a major climber's duel. Evans got dropped and Contador attacked at least twice. Rasmussen answered. Then he dropped both the Disco riders like a bad habit and blew the stage out by a half-minute on his rivals--all in the last kilometer.

Now he's out of the race and the white and yellow jerseys are on the same back. I'm a cycling fan. I'm a cyclist (although not a good one--but an aficionado nonetheless). I'll watch the TDF--no matter what happens. But if I were working for the TDF, I'd be pulling what few follicles of hair I have left out right now wondering what the heck is going to be the next bad PR thing to drop in my lap?

No comments: