June 30, 2006



Here's the email Christopher sent me and a few others who rely on him to keep us up to date on such things this morning (I'd already heard one version of this over breakfast!):

The biggest names are out: Ullrich, Basso and Mancebo. Vinokourov's new Astaná-Wurth squad probably won't be allowed to start at all. More hits are probably coming.

No Americans are implicated and it doesn't look likely at this point. Don't know why. No French either, because frankly, the French don't really dope (France and Italy both have criminal laws against doping as sporting fraud, but in France they actually aggressively track it and put people in jail for it, unlike Italy--Spain just enacted such a law and this Operation Puerto that's dredging all this stuff up is kind of their first shot across the bow).

More rumors coming in all the time: T-mobile won't field a team at all, Paolo Savoldelli of Discovery will be named mid-race, etc.

As usual, cyclingnews.com is the best place for the actual facts.

I'm trying to be philosophical. I really liked all three of the guys named at the top of the post, and really, I still do. The culture of doping wasn't created by _just_ the riders, and a lot of these guys, frankly, aren't all that bright. In a way, I'm even kind of excited. As somebody who consistently roots for the "no names" in the breakaway to, y'know, _stay_ away, I'm looking forward to a clean(er)--and probably slower--race with some winners we haven't seen before.

All that said, I hope Floyd wins.

Michael L. Wentz

I felt the same way -- shocked, stunned, and saddened. I've been really busy and just heard the news about an hour ago.

That said, Floyd Landis has been my favorite, although it would have been nice to see Ullrich and Basso battling with Landis in the big mountains.

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