Had a very un-fun visit to the dentist this morning, made all the more surreal by the sight of Versus on a screen looming over me. The Tour was in replay mode, and as I was getting the drill treatment, it occurred to me... if I start screaming "It hurts!! Turn it off!!!" will they know which device I'm referring to? Anyway, you'll be glad to know Daniele Bennati won the replay as well, and the commercials on World's Strongest Man are just as horrible.
Lots of media today... some choice bits:
- Probably the most important story out there is Andy Hood's detailed retelling of why Contador is not an OP suspect. Hood goes through how he got on the list -- namely, references in documents to him -- and how he got off the list -- by reading the references (things like "here are the top finishers" or "here's the Liberty roster"), and by Fuentes himself denying (atypically) that he worked with the Accountant. Fortunately, it's a pretty convincing that Contador shouldn't be mentioned with the other OP suspects.
- ASO hits on the solution to all of Cycling's problems: start blaming the UCI. Prudhomme's beef is that the UCI didn't call him before the Tour to tell him about Rasmussen's missed tests. Not asked: if the Tour wanted to exclude riders who had some question marks but no actual violations, why didn't they call the UCI? Scroll down in the link for McQuaid's awkward defense.
- For a grim perspective, read the Rabobank riders' reactions. If I were in France at a restaurant and the team showed up at the next table (chicken-less), I would buy them a drink. They need/earned it.
- More from Rabo: the official statement.
- And if you have a really strong stomach, read Rasmussen's reply. He seems to think his teammates feel sorry for him. Michael Boogerd's reaction sounded more like they're sorry they ever met him.
- One of the running features for the next few days will be to link to articles from Sam Abt (International Herald Trib) and John Wilcockson (VeloNews). Both of these Cyclo-journo-legends are somewhere in the process of retiring, as I posted about yesterday. Prof. Wilcockson hasn't filed anything today, as of an hour ago, but read Sam Abt's Rasmussen piece. Update [2007-7-26 18:22:59 by chris]: The heir apparent might be Bonnie DeSimone.
- Another daily feature here will be the weather conditions in Cognac. Today: dry and 2mph SW winds. Right direction for a tailwind time trial, but 2mph won't register. Right now Saturday's forecast looks more wet than windy.
- Speaking of the media, VN has a nice cull of headlines from around the world. The bottom line: the Tour is dead/long live the Tour.
- Back to the Chicken, Cadel Evans tells VN that he smelled a rat from a few of ~:>'s performances.
- In the better-late-than-never category, WADA wants to hold a doping summit. I accept invitations by email, at email@example.com.
- Over at the Gendarmerie, Christian Moreni was released since sticking a testosterone patch on your butt isn't a violation of any law, just a form of cheating. Apparently the cops got to Rasmussen's hotel a bit too late to arrest him. Seriously. I don't know much about French law, but if you can be arrested because somebody saw you in Italy when you told your boss you were in Mexico, I'd say their Bill of Rights is on par with, oh, China's.
- Finally, Cadel Evans' team wants to sue Vinokourov and Astana for defrauding them of the publicity they missed out on by Evans winning the Albi time trial. I don't have a joke here.