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Basso, Ullrich Out of Tour... of Germany

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In a breaking story, VeloNews has learned that stars Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso have been excluded from the DeutschlandTour on the eve of the ninth month before the race is scheduled to commence. This dramatic action deprives the race of its two brightest stars, in the name of clean racing.

"It is our duty to ensure Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso do not start our race," Rapp said in the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper. "The German cycling federation and the teams have done a lot to combat doping so it would be a problem (to include them)."

OK, that's it... it's getting really hard to write satire these days when this kind of nonsense is happening in real time. So the DeutschlandTour can prove its bona fides by doing its TdF impression, nine months ahead of time, and after the evidence has slipped into murkiness? Yo, memo to Mr. Rapp: you can't escape your grand-tour-leftover status by spewing hot air.