Jun 30, 2006

simply shocking

The #1 and #2 are out. Basso & Ullrich gone.

Here's the list of 37 riders that are out. This includes Mancebo, Sevilla, Beloki.

Basically team Astana Wurth is decimated. Communaute de Valence is decimated. Vino is not on the list though. Can he get picked up on another team? I don't know. Organizers almost have to allow some rearranging after this.

Valverde my #3 pick is not on the list. He becomes a favorite. Vino would be up there now. Floyd Landis, Leipheimer are now contenders. I'd even put Hincapie (Lance's long time domestique) as havng a chance.

This is a great shame. It will be an interesting tour but it won't be the same. 2006 will be a black stain on the sport for some time to come. This is just ugly. And if Basso becomes a big future winner, he'll never get the doping allegation out of his image. Look at how doping hounded Lance and he was never tested positive nor was any hard evidence ever found.


Anonymous said...

Chaos. I'm still trying to get my head around it. I can't help but think that now that the names are out, teams - and more importantly sponsors - are dumping the implicated prior to due process for one main reason: the Tour enters and completes a stage in Spain. Not a good image to have a perp walk (perp ride?) when the peleton crosses the border and local investigators pay a visit.
And you are right about the shadow cast regardless of any final results. Damn shame to start the post-Armstrong era this way.

C. Fuzzbang said...

I think due process is out based on a prior agreement with the team directors. I think they all agreed to have anyone involved with this out of the race. I think it's purely to maintain the name of the tour.

I do think the race will be interesting because it will be a scappier race. I really think Basso would have crushed the competition. And if he didn't then Ullrich would have. With those two out it seems wide open. I mean the fact that I think Hincapie has a shot at a podium placing should indicate how open it is.

The other annoying thing about this is the bad image it throws on the sport. But cycling is really the only sport that consistently tests for drugs. If this was going on in soccer or football it'd be ridiculous. But those sports don't care.

Anonymous said...

No question - it's all image driven up and down the line. The Tour recovered from Festina in 1997. Hopefully young guys like Valverde, Popyovich, and Salvodeli can redeem things in a few years.

I was thinking Basso as well because CSC was so strong and they could adopt a Discovery model.
But give me Leipheimer now. What the heck, it's anyones game now.

C. Fuzzbang said...

What's better here than Festina is that it has at least happened before the race started. Only one day but it gives everyone a chance to regroup. And that was the first big doping scandal. Now we kind of expect someone to be taking drugs. Maybe this is the year that the previous year's lanterne rouge wins! :)