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Sacchetto del Giorno

Welcome to Pinerolo.

Big day today: two Pro Tour events going on simultaneously, shoes dropping on two major drug issues. Each of these deserves its own section of a newspaper... but of course, the Italian papers are all obsessed with the Champions League final, which thankfully will be out of the way by the time the peloton crosses the Cima Coppi tomorrow. W/o further ado...

  • I'm still looking for the image of Andrea Noè sliding across the line, so if anyone sees it, please send me a link. Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel) broke his collarbone. Yaro-Pop crashed pretty heavily, and CN was speculating about his condition, though the Paceline's recap was hopeful he's OK.
  • No change in the placings today, despite the drama, but among the jerseys about to change hands tomorrow may be the maglia ciclamino. Alessandro Petacchi isn't sure about continuing, saying he needs to focus on the Tour.
  • We have a regular feature in the Sacchetto called "Meanwhile in Spain," for dispensing with that other Pro Tour event unfolding quietly in Catalunya. Today, Allan Davis notched a win for Discovery in a bunch finish, ahead of Baden Cooke and Daniele Bennati. Tomorrow looks horrendous:

Now that's a profile! This stage and Friday's uphill ITT should sort things out nicely.

  • We have a whole separate thread on the T-Mobile matter that I won't invade. As for Floyd...
  • Testimony at the Landis hearing has turned both salacious and substantive. That the former is something USADA's lawyers are trying to press home is insulting the intelligence of the panel. Always a good idea. But the latter is Earth-shaking: as several posters have said below, doping controls must have integrity, just as in the US we presume a criminal defendant's innocence until proven otherwise, faith in our judiciary being one of the pillars on which to base a functioning democracy. If we can have faith in the judiciary, then we can have piece of mind about convictions. The alternative is chaos. Anyway, VN is all over the Landis case:
Davis also gave failing grades to lab workers Cynthia Mongongu and Claire Frelat, who carried out the testing on Landis's urine sample both last summer and in April. "They clearly did not understand the instrument," Davis said of the two French women who testified earlier in the hearing. "I had to help them load the software onto the machine. Generally they did not know how the software worked."

That's Landis' star witness on direct examination. Everyone looks good on direct; that's the whole point. The question is whether he'll still look good after cross-examination, which is going on right now.

The doping case of Floyd Landis is in the hands of the court. We must let the system do its work. Really, there is no doubt. According to the positive results, Landis can't be the Tour winner.

Did he even pause to inhale between these two flatly contradictory statements, or does this stupidity flow out all at once?