Well the next three weeks I’ll be glued to OLN watching the Tour de France. But it will be a much different Tour than what I was anticipating due to cycling’s biggest doping scandal to date I believe. This really is huge. The 2 top contenders were implicated in the doping scandal and are out of the Tour. Here are the riders booted out so far…Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) Ivan Basso (CSC) Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile), Francisco Mancebo (Ag2r) the entire Astana-Wurth team including Alexandre Vinokourov and Joseba Beloki. Those are some big names in the sport. Basso and Ullrich were the top favorites for this Tour.
I had been looking forward to this Tour because there would be no Lance thus more coming into the race hoping perhaps they could win…. which makes for a more exciting race. Last year’s Tour was a snore. So now there really are no favorites contending it will be an even more wide open race. This scandal is bad for the sport but nothing surprising. It is well “known” that cycling is a dirty sport. The only surprise to me is that they have apparently caught so many and they are booting them out of the Tour.
So it will be a very different race. I think it will be more interesting and exciting. Though I don’t really care about nationalities, this could end up being a big one for the Americans…. Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie and Bobby Julich.
UPDATE: The total numbers of racers implicated in the scandal is at least 37…. “Spanish media outlets printed a longer version that included 32 active riders and five retired riders.” Some of those were not to be in the Tour. Apparently 22 riders may end up being kicked out by the start tomorrow.