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Astana Withdraws, Vino Suspended

It’s a sad day for the sport of cycling. After all the respect that was given to him for his courage for continuing while being injured. Vino has tested positive for intoducing “homologous blood” into his system. Below is an article from versus.com. Also a link to an article from BBC:

Vinokourov fails Tour doping test

Astana Withdraws, Vino Suspended


By Phil Liggett
July 24, 2007

Alexandre Vinokourov’s positive blood test announced Tuesday has stunned everyone from riders to organizers. Since his crash, he has been portrayed as a limping hero of what, so far, has been a marvellous Tour. Now, he seems to have been caught introducing homologous blood into his system just before the time trial he won in demonstrative fashion.

His Astana team has withdrawn at the invitation of the organizers and Vinokourov was suspended by Astana pending the confirmation of his positive test in his B analysis. It is very unusual for the second test not to confirm the first. In short, Vinokourov, one of the most respected riders in the peloton, will now leave the sport in disgrace.

British rider David Millar, himself a reformed drug taker, has been leading the campaign to clean up the sport. His comment during his own Saunier Duval team’s press conference in Pau, sums up the feelings of most: “I just feel like crying right now.”

Paul, Bob and I are, for once, speechless. We are all very upset with such a stupid action at a time the sport looked to be putting its own house in order. It is incomprehensible that Vinokourov could do such a thing when he must have known he was under suspicion because of his dealing with disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari in Italy. He must have known he would be tested at every opportunity and the time trial was the perfect occasion.

Tomorrow we will know more.

This guy never gives up!

Vino continues to amaze everyone and comes back to win stage 15, gaining back more than 5 minutes on the tour leader. This doesn’t put him back in the running to win the tour, but shows just how much heart this guy has.

The story on versus.com

How hard is the Tour de France?


They say it is one of the hardest athletic events out there. Three weeks of torturing your body everyday, just to get up and do it again the next day. Just imagine if you were injured. Unfortunately that’s just what has happened to the favorite, Alexandre Vinokourov. He crashed in the first week and struggled through the alps. Then yesterday he came back with an amazing time trial and jumped up 14 places. Everyone thought he was back. Today, he looked like he was still in a lot of pain and lost 29 minutes to the leader of the tour. Will he continue??

Check out this article from NYTimes about the tour.

Just a Bike Race, You Say? Think Again

The Tour Rolls On..


It’s that time of year again, the Tour de France is in full swing! The end of today’s racing will complete the first week. It’s been a rough first week too. My picks are in a bit of trouble after crashes yesterday. Andreas Kloeden and Alexandre Vinokourov are looking pretty rough today.

The Team Discovery Channel (previously USPostal) boys are looking ok still although they did lose one of their riders, Tomas Vaitkus, to a crash in stage 3. Yesterday big George Hincapie took…strangely versus.com is reporting 5th and ThePaceline.com is reporting 6th. Their GC man, Levi Leipheimer has been off the radar so far, but is expected to emerge in the mountains. The first real day in the mountains is tomorrow.

Team CSC still have their man the Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara in yellow after he had a phenomenal time trial in the prologue.