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Musette du Jour

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Lots of last-minute nuggets coming out today...

  • Will the German government, underwriters of this year's World Championships in Stuttgart, take their ball and go home if Cycling doesn't disprove the existence of doping? Fine, but maybe they should have said something before last year's World Cup too, right? Yeah...sure.
  • Mick Rogers' knee is nothing to worry about (wink wink), so says T-Mobile. This would be great news for the level of competition, Rogers being the most prominent time trialist among the favorites. But their DS is awfully quick to mention Kim Kirchen and Patrik Sinkewicz as their fallbacks. And, well, knees are knees.
  • I should probably embargo this item til noon, but since it's public info, I'm amazed at how public opinion is coalescing around Andreas Kloden as the favorite. I thought making him the centerpiece of my VDS team would kill his chances, but among the people calling him the favorite are Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Pez' Ed and Jered and apparently Chris Horner too.
  • There's no better way to preview tomorrow's Prologue course than to ride it with Pez. This time, in what promises to be an exciting new technology, author Nick points the way... you know, cuz these roads can get confusing. Also, watch the flythrough video at the official site.
  • Keep watching CyclingRevealed this weekend for the British perspective. Graham Jones has his stage 1 preview posted from his 'hood in Kent, and a Pez-like pictorial display of the course.
  • Another esteemed journo who's back on his game is Samuel Abt of the Int'l Herald Trib. Apart from today's doping rumor mill piece, read his take on how London welcomes the Tour. Put IHT in your favorites list for the next few weeks; Sam Abt has written more books on Cycling than I have blog posts.
  • Ed Wyatt has taken over Abt's space at the New York Times, apparently, and has an entire Special Section on the Tour. IMHO the Times treats the Tour as a fun diversion during your annual summer vacation in the south of France, and the fact that Wyatt doesn't mention Kloden til the last sentence of his GC article doesn't bode well. But it's the paper of record, I'm sure they'll try.
  • Other journos of note... I officially despise ESPN's cycling coverage. Every time they compare cycling to wrestling makes me want to punch someone, namely the person doing the comparing. But such stupidity isn't worth a response, and anyway, every year ESPN tries to make amends by actually staffing the Tour. This year they've poached Bonnie DeSimone from their tennis coverage. She also doubles as the Boston Globe correspondent where she's writing entirely different articles. ESPN also nabbed Andy Hood from his usual VeloNews post, and he has a favorites piece as well as a course preview that caters to ESPN's core audience of people who can only be bothered to watch one or two stages, preferably condensed.