This is an extract of an article that recently appeared at cyclingnews.com:
Meanwhile, Marco Pantani has called on fellow riders to boycott the Tour this year because his team, Mercatone Uno, was left out of the Tour. Apparently, the Pirate plans to call up both Lance Armstrong and Hein Verbruggen, president of the UCI, to support his protest.
In an interview published this morning in the French sporting daily L'Equipe, Pantani said ``Some of the champions could very well demand that I, and others with me, be at the start of the Tour, otherwise they won't ride. The Tour could find itself with just five or six French teams, maybe with no foreign riders.''
What hope do ya' reckon he's got?