21st Century Living - Matthew Good
I have trouble believing the Tour would turn down two podium finishers from last year. Sounds like some people are just trying to sell some papers.
The Tour de France owners are known for stupid moves. I would not be surprized if they did this, but it really seems stupid. In 2006 and 2007 TdF sent me letters to tell me to stop using "Tour de France" on my web page and to sell my tours to their event . . . unless I licence use of their name. I can not even use pictures I took of their event to promote my tours. Now this seems stupid. What I did was to bring Americans over to France to spend money including buying Tdf shirts etc.
While I love France and live there near half time, they have the most amazing ability to shoot themselves in the foot. I have a Pyrenees and Alpes TdF tour on my web site but I can not include the name Tour de France. go figure!!
My conclusion is that they will not keep Astana out . . . we shall see.
Dick Powell, www.outfittetours.com
Okay what is the problem with a cheating team not being included. To me it seems that the Tour management did exactly what they needed to do. Why would they let a known cheating team into the Tour even though it is under new , but very tainted management. Astana should not be on the Tour much less any race the team should have ceased to be last year. The Team its owners and management should be banned for life.
Gonna be a pretty thin field at the Tour this year, eh?
Asanta trains in Albuquerque New Mexico and sorrounding area --- I am really proud of that...
I heard from the local grapevine that they will be in the TDF in spite of this rumor!
I am really glad these guys are here so we could finish the velodrome!
Okay you have a point that all the teams have had their problerm children. So should we throw them all out well maybe. I think the difference is that with Astana and Disco it was part of the team culture, the management knew about it, they probably helped the process.
To be honest if it took banning all these teams and starting over it might be better then another scandal this year at the Tour. I mean how many scandals can the sport take, or for that matter how many can any sport take, before people go somewhere else.
I previously said on this thread that I did not think Astana (and others) would be excluded. Well the Giro d'Italia did exclude 5 Pro-Tour Teams including Astana and the former T-Mobile, High Road. There has been a war between the ProTour and the owners of the 3 major tours, Giro, TdF and Vuelta. I think the "tainted" teams have given the owners the opportunity to flex their muscles and put it to the Pro Tour. I now think it is quite possible they will be excluded form the Tour de France and Vuelta as well as the Giro. Seems like shooting yourself in the foot, but that is quite common it seems.
Levi, Horner, Hincapie and other USA stars are affected. These guys are clean . . . no drug history that I am aware of. That is sad. This is not about drugs or tainted teams, it is about power politics between the Pro-Tour and ASO (owner of TdF & soon the Vuelta) and the Giro owners. It is really hypocritical for any Italian or Spanish organization to complain about tainted teams . . . the owners are as much a problem as the teams and riders. Like all big money sports, it is the culture that caused and condoned doping.
I think the right actions have been taken to clean up the future of the sport. To pull the type of stufff the race owners are now doing justs creates more bad press and keeps the whole bad history alive. It would have been much better to just move ahead.
ASO and L'Equipe Sports Magazine are in cahoots and putting it too the organization that won the TdF 7 + 1 = 8 times is also what this is about.
The riders should just refuse to race the 3 big races. But, they have to eat, and that will not happen. Slipstream will get in and we will have our American Team again. Whatever happens, it will again be an exciting race. The sport of bike racing is bigger than a few naysayers, greedy owners and ProTour politicians.
Dick Powell, www.outfittertours.com
Founder & Former Owner of The Bicycle Outfitter of Los Altos, CA
21st Century Living - Matthew Good
21st Century Living - Matthew Good
I must admit I do tend to root for American riders. I truly respect talent regardless of where it comes from. I for one was taken in by Vinokoroff, he fooled me and I was rooting for him. But . . . . he cheated. I don't, however, go along with the idea of a "disgraced team". To me you fix the problem and move on. What happened last year, under different leadership, is irrelevant.
All this said, I will be pulling for Slipstream at the Giro, my first tour in 2008. We will be in the Dolomites for several stages and see it again at Gavia & Mortorolo. I do wish Astana and the others would be there as well. But, Slipstream will do for now. I would like to see Tom Danielson do something this year.
It looks like Alberto, Levi, and Andreas will have some extra time on their hands in July: http://www.velonews.com/article/72000.
The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.
My guess is that between now and the tour you will see a revolt from the pro tour teams.
I do mind the repeating of mindless slogans and the refusal to countenance evidence for the opposing point of view, and especially when this is accompanied with abuse.
As far as politics, big money and bicycle racing go, just check out how Pro Bet were jerked around last year.
"I knew the bride...."
Bummer for those on the current Astana team who were apparently clean racers. I do have to wonder, though (as have other above) where ASO draws the line and why and how they do it. Seems like the most damaging thing PR wise last year were the Riis and Rasmussen debacles. Should CSC and Rabobank get excluded? And if you go down the list of who did what leading up to and during the le Tour, there are a lot of teams who damaged the Tour and cycling in general.
No French winner since Hinault. I'd say more like stacking the deck.
They could put in all French teams and a Frenchman still wouldnt win it.
My feelings about the Tour have been tempered quite a bit over the last few years. As grand tours go, the Giro has been the better event these last few years. If the organizers and RAI would step up the production values on par with the Tour, it could be just as big.
ASO has shown that they will not be bullied, and I applaud them for that. They didn't want Astana in this year before all the signings, then Astana turned around and signed 2 podium finishers in order to force their way in. ASO has not wavered, and I think you should all appreciate that a bit more. ASO are actually trying to do something positive for the sport, even if it doesn't all turn out perfectly. Case in point: Rassmussen.