24 July 2007

Vinokourov OUT OUT OUT

After testing positive for a banned substance, Vinokourov and the entire Astana team have pulled out of the 2007 Tour de France.

As I wrote in an earlier post, my bet was for Rasmussen to test positive (as he was given a control test the other day), but the first rider to fall this year has been Vinokourov. Darn it.

Not because I was wrong, but because this was turning out to be a great Tour and the finish was not anywhere decided before today's rest day. Well, it's still not decided, but the main team that was putting chink after chink into Rasmussen's armor was Astana.

Now we'll see what shakes out from this development, how the comments come flying in from readers and fans alike, and if the final stage in Paris even occurs!

I worry for the sport and know that it might have to collapse completely to be reborn.

I'll be watching tomorrow's stage 16 to see if teams protest like they did in 1998 or if they go on like nothing happened. I also believe that control tests will be stepped up and UCI will spread the nets wider to collect a lot more riders before this tour ends on July 29.

I spent the day in Brussels talking with beer-drinking Belgians about Tom Boonen and the Tour in general and now I don't know what to feel. Paris might be great in the springtime and super around Tour time, but not if everyone and their brother is doped to the gills.

Pah, tre bien!!!

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