Ok, so if you don't know already it's a day before the Tour and the shit storm has just officially started. The doping allegations have come to a head and people have been pulled from the tour. Here's the list so far: Jan Ullrich (T Mobile), Oscar Sevilla (T Mobile), Ivan Basso (CSC), Francisco Mancebo (AG2R). Joseba Beloki (Astana-Wurth), Sergio Paulinho (Astana-Wurth), Isidro Nozal (Astana-Wurth), Allan Davis (Astana-Wurth), Alberto Contador (Astana-Wurth). Thats some big names removed from the biggest race in professional cycling. From the sound of it there may be more riders pulled later today, most likely from the Astana-Wurth team.
Heres the complete list, including those that have not been pulled from the Tour ... yet:
Astaná-Würth: Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano, David Etxebarria, Joseba Beloki, Angel Vicioso, Isidro Nozal, Unai Osa, Jörg Jaksche
CSC: Ivan Basso
Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears: Constantino Zaballa
Saunier Duval: Carlos Zarate
AG2R: Francisco Mancebo
T-Mobile: Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla
Phonak: Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Jose Ignacio Gutierrez
Comunidad Valenciana: Vicente Ballester, David Bernabeu, David Blanco Rodriguez, Jose Adrian Bonillla, Juan Gomis Lopez, Eladio Jimenez, David Latasa, Javier Pascual, Ruben Plaza, J.Luis M. Jimenez
Unibet.Com: Carlos Garcia Quesada
Retired/suspended riders: Roberto Heras, Angel Casero, Santiago Perez, Tyler Hamilton
A few thoughts:
1) At least David Millar can race. Will he be pulled simply because he just came off suspension? (Sarcasm)
2) Could this be a conspiracy put on by the French and assisted by the Spainish to make the chances better for a French or Spanish rider to win the Tour? I wouldn't put it past Le Blanc.
3) Where's the beef? I mean has there been some sort of proof? I heard some things about some documents with code names and doping schedules but legitimately that could be anything. I suppose it's like when a teacher or a principal at a school gets accused of sexual misconduct. Regardless if it proved or not, accusal is enough to get removed.
4) Is it cool if I change the Tour picks from last week? If so, I got Landis, Leipheimer and Valeverde for the podium. The rest of my picks I'm sticking with. I never thought I would have to count in a "likelyhood to dope" variable. At this point if racers keep getting pulled, it's possible that I could fly to France and find a team to race for and win the Tour.