photo courtesy "Operators are standing by" under the Creative Commons license
The TdF is starting soon. Vino' just put the eastern bloc smackdown (with Adreij Kaschekhin) on the Dauphine field today. All of the Puerto names are supposed to be released on June 19th , so there's no telling who will be in it this year. Jason D pointed out that no Frenchman was a contender because they aren't testing positive ergo they aren't doping ergo they aren't willing to do what it takes to win the Tour! Cynical, cynical. More cynical though is the treatment of Bjarne Riis by the TdF organization. They have wiped his name from the record books and are entertaining the notion of not allowing him at the Tour this year. Interesting, given that the man presenting all of the jerseys on the stage at the end of each day's stage is 5-time, French Tour winner Bernard Hinault, who actually avoided a mandatory drug test and can reasonably be presumed to have not won all of those races on mineral water alone. He was also quoted as saying that no one wins the Tour without a good doctor...
I want to jump the gun on the Puerto announcement and go on record now that an American will test positive in this Tour, if they post a decent result. Odds on favorite according to the Luna Cycles cognocenti is David Zabriskie. He stands a good chance of taking the maillot jaune on the prologue tt and that kind of pou-pou ain't gonna fly with the French. I give Dave Z. a 5 to 1 chance of testing "positive". Dark horse in this competition is Levi Leipheimer. He will have to settle in a bit and prove himself a capable climber and dangerous late race tt'er to warrant a "positive" test. My odds are 25 to 1 for Levi. Now the real fun in this little pool is the question of when will they come up "positive"? When they win a stage? Take the yellow? Hold the yellow for a little too long for comfort? Or, hidden option number 4: before the race even begins? Why take le chance, eliminate them early. Let's see what machinations will come into play to insure a win by a "true" european!
June 23rd is the Lenoir downtown criterium. July 14th will be Trail maintenance day at the Aquatic center. And there is only 4 and a half months to 'cross season! See you on the group ride tomorrow at 6!