- France TV: Agreement "likely" that will allow Lance Armstrong to start the Tour de France
On yesterday's Stade2 program on France 2 television, there was a discussion of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) case vs. Lance Armstrong with regard to sample collection protocol in mid-March. Stade2 reporters talked to AFLD president Pierre Bordry, two-time Tour champion and TV consultant Laurent Fignon, a couple of French riders and other French athletes about the case. The UCI and Tour organizer A.S.O. did not respond to requests for interviews for the program. Armstrong continues to enjoy very wide support among his peers in the sports world, including in France, with everyone expressing surprise at how many times he has been tested in recent months. Fignon commented that the situation "is not good for cycling, not good for Armstrong, not good for anyone." A Stade2 reporter commented that though the AFLD, as previously reported, will announce its decision on what to do in early May, it now appears likely that all sides will come to an agreement permitting Armstrong to be at the start line of the Tour. The program also briefly covers the recent Tyler Hamilton positive and retirement announcement.
- The Bos/Impey crash poll has been closed due to evidence of several hundred votes coming from the same IP address this afternoon. (not difficult to do) The poll was never going to be scientific anyway but did we forget to ask people not to vote 300 times?
2009 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
Organizers of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré today officially unveiled the route for the 2009 edition of the race, June 7-14. The race will include a 12.1km opening time trial in the city of Nancy, a 42.4km time trial around the city of Valence, and a stage to Mont Ventoux. The race thus shares with the 2009 Tour de France an opening time trial instead of a prologue (prologues are limited to 8km), a 40km+ long time trial and a stage finish on Ventoux (the penultimate stage in the case of the TDF), making the Dauphiné a good preparation race for the Tour, as it typically is.
June 7, Stage 1: Nancy, 12.1 km Individual TT
June 8, Stage 2: Nancy - Dijon, 228 km
June 9, Stage 3: Tournus - Saint-Etienne, 182 km
June 10, Stage 4: Bourg-lès-Valence - Valence, 42,4 km Individual Time Trial
June 11, Stage 5: Valence-Mont Ventoux, 154 km
June 12, Stage 6: Gap - Briançon, 106 km
June 13, Stage 7: Briançon - Saint-François-Longchamp, 157 km
June 14, Stage 8: Faverges - Grenoble, 146 km
19 teams will be competing this year, with the BMC team added to the automatically qualified 18 UCI ProTeams. Riders that might be expected on the start line include Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Sylvain Chavanel, David Millar, Cyril Dessel, David Moncoutié, Sandy Casar, and Robert Gesink.
For more: Dauphine Libere Official Website
- Regarding yesterday's crash at the Tour of Turkey (links to video and our poll below), race winner Daryl Impey (Barloworld) has given his version of events:
"I got taken down deliberately by Bos from Rabobank, you can even see it on youtube, only one word for him and that is a true chophead. He doesn't deserve to race anymore and I am thinking about going to the UCI about his dangerous riding. He tried to pass me 700m to go in the bunch sprint but there was no-where to go and all of a sudden I felt a hand on my shoulder pulling me into the barriers. We both crashed." More here.
"I go out on the bike every day and ride just like I did before (the injury). I don’t want to fall on it again right now, but I think it will be fine for the Tour of Italy. I fully anticipate being there and being strong and fit and being ready to race."
Read more here.
Agency runs controversial national anti-doping lab (LNDD)
Update: MSNBC video (01:07)
(Ed. note: Lots of ridiculous AFLD chest-thumping lately.)
Astana has announced the following changes to Lance Armstrong's pre-Giro racing schedule:
- Armstrong will race the Tour de Castille et Leon (Vuelta a Castilla y León, Spain, March 23-27) alongside teammate Alberto Contador. This race will allow Armstrong to test himself in a time trial and mountaintop finishes. Contador had previously expressed a desire to race with Armstrong prior to July's Tour de France.
- Armstrong will NOT race the 2009 Critérium International (France, March 28-29).
- Armstrong will NOT race the 2009 Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen, Belgium, April 5). (Ed. - This is not a surprise as Armstrong told French sports daily L'Equipe a month ago that he would likely skip Flanders in order to return to the U.S. earlier.)
Sacramento Police released some details and a photo of Armstrong bike in their possession.