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What Now?

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Letour-sq2_1__mediumWhile the morning has been consumed by the devastating news that one of the Tour's brightest lights was yet another cheat, the race has not stopped or even slowed much to take note. The show goes on. Here are a few things to think about instead of what an idiot Riccardo Ricco is.

  1. Staying with the scandal for just a moment, I think there's real significance that Ricco was caught for taking a substance (CERA) not known to be available prior to this year. The message is, WADA scientists are pulling pretty close to even with the cheats. One thing I've always hoped for is a level of sophistication among the controllers as you see with the doping doctors. Much of this is out of the public eye and hard to understand, but today's news shows that if the riders have heard of it, there's a good chance the controllers have too. Strike a blow to the confidence of anyone who thinks "their source" has come up with the latest, undetectable PED.
  • 2. Ricco's capture wipes out two stage wins, but neither of them changed the race at all. For Saturday's win, he stole off and nobody reacted. At Super-Besse, everyone was sprinting all-out anyway. It's hard to imagine things happening differently but for his presence... so redact his image and carry on.
  • 3. In Ricco's absence, the KOM competition has become pretty wide open, with literally dozens of riders still in contention. The availability of 60-80 points on a single upcoming stage should draw out several of the world's better climbers once the race hits the Alps.
  • 4. CN has an interesting chat with a doping expert. The cat-and-mouse games continue...