Wednesday, July 25, 2007

TdF Stage 17 preview

After Cofidis pulled out today, and after Rasmussen got pulled by Team Rabobank, there are 149 riders left to start Stage 17. The 188.5 km long stage goes from Pau to Castelsarrasin, and features two sprints and six climbs, all Cat-4 but one Cat-3.

I'll continue to watch and follow the Tour, but for me, the outcome has mostly become meaningless. It is not so much because of who quit or had to quit the Tour for whatever reason, but because the current standings are a result of the racing that included the expelled cyclists. The fact that riders like Contador and Leipheimer are moving up the ranks, and therefore potentially winning the Tour or getting a podium spot, doesn't make anyone happy. This "accomplishment" pleases neither the fans, nor the riders themselves; well, they will be happy about the price money, that is for sure. Plus, there will always be a doubt about whether or not the TdF 2007 champion is a doper; or the fear that we learn that he's one three days after he had been crowned in Paris on July 29. Not that this has never happened before.

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