Friday, June 30, 2006

Sad Day In The World of Cycling.

This is most disturbing news. For those of you who haven't heard - today, on the eve of the greatest sporting event of the year - The Tour de France, some harsh realities were brought to light. Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso - the two favorites and all round bad asses in the tour this year have both been suspended from the race on doping charges. Francisco Mancebo was also suspended as well as 50 other Tour contenders. Two complete Spanish teams - Communidad de Valencia and Astana - Wurth were taken down as well. Last year Basso finished second, Ullrich finished third, and Mancebo (who, after last years performance thought had a real solid chance of taking the whole thing this year) finished fourth. What does this mean? This means that the Tour has been completely blown wide open. No one has any idea what is going to happen - two of the most dominant teams, CSC and T-Mobile have lost their protected riders. Because of the scandal, an interesting opportunity has been presented to the Americans in the Tour. George Hincapie from Team Disco, Floyd Landis from Team Phonack, and Levi Leipheimer from Team Gerolsteiner are pretty much the only remaining contenders left in the peloton. What's interesting is not only are all of these guys American but they were all teammates and domestiques for Lance back in the Postal Service days.

This whole thing saddens me greatly, I was eagerly anticipating an intense Basso v. Ullrich battle to the finish. This is a dark day in the world of cycling, I would imagine that Lance is going to make a statement some time later on today - it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. If you want to read more about the suspension check out this VeloNews article - Basso and Ullrich ejected
It also sucks that we are not going to get to see Ivan Basso's super hot, Italian model sister hanging out at the finish line of every stage.


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