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Doping Doctors July 26, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Doping, Dr Michele Ferrari, Dr. Eufemiano Fuente, Michael Rasmussen, Michele Ferrari, Operation Puerto, Rabobank, Tour de France.
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I don’t know anything about who the Italian doctor is behind the Michael Rasmussen scandal, but there is one who springs to mind. I’m sure l’Equipe will have the complete story by morning press time….

Dr. Michele Ferrari

Dr. Michele Ferrari’s Training center

More about Dr. Michele Ferrari

And no dicussion of doping doctors would be complete without mentioning Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the heart of the Operation Puerto scandal. There is no way that Dr. Fuentes could be involved with current doping events, but who knows about his associates.

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The Tour in Torment July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Christian Moreni, Dennis Menchov, Doping, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Patrik Sinkewitz, Rabobank, T-Mobile, Theo DeRooy, Tour de France.
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In an unbelievable and dizzying turn of events, 17 riders across three teams have been withdrawn from the Tour in the past 30 hours. 9 riders of Astana, (including 5th place Andreas Kloden and 8th place Andrey Kashechkin), 7 riders of Team Cofidis (all of whom had participated in a sit down protest against riders doping at the start of the stage today), and the Yellow Jersey wearing Rabobank rider, Michael Rasmussen, who had all but guaranteed himself a spot on the podium in Paris with a win in today’s stage.

It is not clear whether any or all of the remaining riders in Rabobank will continue with the Tour when it resumes tomorrow so 7 more riders may withdraw voluntarily by morning, including 17th place Michael Boogerd and 23rd place Dennis Menchov.

Only three riders have failed doping tests during the Tour, Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile) who was already withdrawn by the time the results were announced, Alexander Vinokourouv, who had just won 2 out of the last 3 stages when his results were announced and Christian Moreni, who was dramatically arrested by French officials at the finish of today’s stage. However, the zero tolerance environment that is evolving within the sports’ official bodies (the UCI and national federations), within the event organizations and within the ranks of sponsors, has resulted in the decimation of the tour’s competitors and a PR bloodbath that may change the face of professional racing for decades to come.

It should be noted that Rasmussen has been tested repeatedly before and during this year’s Tour (he claims 14 tests) and has not failed any tests to date. However, in the face of the drastic and dramatic moves by organizers, teams and their sponsors in the Sinkewitz, Vinokourov and Moreni incidents, many were calling for Rabobank, or the Tour, to act and remove Rasmussen from the race before his behavior did any more damage to the reputation of the Tour or the heralded Maillot Jaune. Apparently the revelation that Rasmussen was training in Italy in June when he missed out of competition doping tests, not Mexico as he claimed, was all that Rabobank and its team manager Theo DeRooy could take. DeRooy has said that he will give the other Rabobank riders the option of continuing on with the race tomorrow when Stage 17 begins.

Regardless of what the Rabobank riders decide to do, this Tour de France has become one of the craziest sporting events in recent memory. Great riders who are clean have lost the chance to compete and win, good riders who are trying to win their way onto teams for next year are sitting at home, and sponsors who have honored and polished the sport for years are packing their bags. Hopefully, the damage that is done will set the stage for a rebirth of professional cycling, and a new era in the Grand Tours, but for the innocent riders who are hurt because of this there is no way to recover the time and opportunity lost.

Rasmussen Out!!! July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Christian Prudhomme, Davide Cassani, Doping, Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, RAI, Tour de France, UCI.
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Hours after he won Stage 16 of the race and nearly guaranteed himself a spot on the podium in Paris on Sunday, Rabobank has pulled Yellow Jersey Michael Rasmussen from the Tour de France, allegedly because he lied to the team about his whereabouts when he was to have been tested for out of competition doping.

UPDATE: AFP is reporting that “Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme – who at one point had phoned UCI president Pat McQuaid to berate him over not informing organizers over Rasmussen’s missed tests – said that there was not much more he and his co-directors of the race could have done.

“We did all we could do to get rid of him,” Prudhomme told AFP.”One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders,” he added, referring to Rasmussen, Cristian Moreni – who also exited on Wednesday after failing a drugs test – and Alexandre Vinokourov who was thrown out on Tuesday. ”

UPDATE 2: It is now being reported that not only did Rasmussen misinform his team as to his true location during the months leading up to the Tour de France, but apparently Rabobank was informed today that Rasmussen was training in Italy with an “as yet un-named doctor”, suggesting that Rabobank may know more about what he has been doing during the period in question than we yet know.

UPDATE 3: Cyclingnews reports “According to hln.be, former professional Davide Cassani, now a commentator for Italian TV station RAI, made a statement to Danish TV on Wednesday in which he claimed to have seen the Rabobank leader training in the Italian Dolomites on June 13 and 14. Rasmussen had previously declared that he was in Mexico from June 4 – 26. “When Rasmussen was confronted with this information he confirmed to [team manager] Theo de Rooy he was at that moment in Italy,” said Rabobank press officer Jacob Bergsma. “That was the reason De Rooy decided to get him out of the Tour and the team.””

How Astana Affects The Stages July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Barloworld, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Discovery Channel, Fabian Cancellara, Kim Kirchen, Levi Leipheimer, Liquigas, Michael Rasmussen, Quickstep, Rabobank, Stage wins, T-Mobile, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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By now it has been well publicized that the withdrawal of Team Astana as a result of a failed doping test on team leader Alexander Vinokourov has stripped 3 of the Tour’s top GC contenders from the rankings, most notably Andreas Kloden who had been in 5th place in the GC at the time of the withdrawal. But Vinokourov’s suspension also hands two riders stage wins that had originally been awarded to the Kazakh rider. Cadel Evans takes the stage win for Stage 13 and Kim Kirchen the win for Stage 15.

[UPDATE: It is not yet clear how the withdrawal of Michael Rasmussen by his team for violating team rules will affect the official result of Stages 8 and 16. Since he did not fail a doping test, his stage wins may stand. I will update this listing once Tour organizers have announced a decision on the earlier stages.]

[UPDATE 2: Sorry, no slight to Robbie McEwen intended! McEwen won and holds the stage win for Stage 1. Fabian Cancellara still held the Maillot Jaune at the end of the stage but did not win the stage.]

The complete list of stage winners to date:

Prologue, London – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 1, London/Canterbury – Fabian Cancellara, CSCRobbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 2, Dunkirk/Ghent – Gert Steegmans, Quickstep
Stage 3, Waregem/Compiegne – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 4, Villers-Cotterets/Joigny – Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole
Stage 5, Chablis/Autun – Filippo Pozzatto, Liquigas
Stage 6, Semur-en-Auxois/Bourg-en-Bresse – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 7, Bourg-en-Bresse/Le Grand-Bornand – Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile
Stage 8, Le Grand-Bornand/Tigne – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Valverde?)
Stage 9, Val-d’Isere/Briancon – Juan Mauricio Soler [Hernandez], Barloworld
Stage 10, Tallard/Marseille – Cedric Vasseur, Quickstep
Stage 11, Marseille/Montpellier – Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
Stage 12, Montpellier/Castres – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 13, Albi/Albi (TT) – Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 14, Mazamet/Plateau-de-Beille – Alberto Contador, Discovery
Stage 15, Foix/Loudenvielle – Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile
Stage 16, Orthez/Col d’Aubisque – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Leipheimer?)

That’s 4 stage wins for Quickstep, 3 for CSC, 2 each for Barloworld, [Rabobank] and T-Mobile, and 1 each for Credit Agricole, Discovery Channel and Liquigas.

Millar Slams Rasmussen July 24, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in David Millar, Doping, Michael Rasmussen, Tour de France.
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David Millar, once punished for using EPO, and now a strong voice against doping, spoke out harshly against Michael Rasmussen. Citing Rasmussen’s failure to register his location while training, as required so he could be tested outside of events, Millar believes the Yellow Jersey wearing Rasmussen has irreperably damaged this year’s Tour.

With the Tour and professional cycling already reeling from a series of high profile doping scandals, the Tour organizers need a clean race, and a clean winner. Organizers have worked hard to re-establish the credibility of the riders and teams participating, but the suspicions swirling around Rasmussen have undermined that.

Rasmussen was dismissed from the Danish national team for the infractions, and will not be riding in either the world championships or the olympics for Denmark as a result.

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Done But No Quit In Vinokourov – Vino Wins Stage 15 July 23, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alexander Vinokourov, Astana, Bernhard Kohl, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Christian Van de Velde, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, George Hincapie, Gerolsteiner, Haimar Zubeldia, Juan Jose Cobo, Juan Manuel Garate, Kim Kirchen, Ludovic Turpin, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Quickstep, Rabobank, Saunier Duval, Stage 15, T-Mobile, Tour de France, Uncategorized.
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5 rated climbs, including 2 Cat 1’s and an HC (above rating) gave the Tour another chance to separate the field, and separate it did… A huge 25 man breakaway eventally broke up with a group of 6 pulling away and then 3 broke off the front of that group. Alexander Vinokourov jumping out to lead the 3 in the front over the Col de Peyresourde. The man who looked completely cooked yesterday simply overpowered the field and raced to the win…an incredible performance.

Vinokourov Wins Stage 15

The GC contenders finished 6 minutes behind, with Alberto Contador dueled Michael Rasmussen for the top position, pulling away from the rest of the yellow jersey group just before the top of the last climb. At the end of the descent, Contador and Rasmussen finished a minute ahead of Leipheimer, Evans and the other contenders.

[Complete Results Here]

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. VINOKOUROV Alexandre 191 ASTANA 5h 34′ 28″
2. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
3. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
4. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 204 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 5h 35′ 26″ + 00′ 58″
5. GARATE Juan Manuel 174 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 36′ 42″ + 02′ 14″
6. ARROYO David 12 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 37′ 51″ + 03′ 23″
7. KOHL Bernhard 95 GEROLSTEINER 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
8. VANDEVELDE Christian 37 TEAM CSC 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
9. TURPIN Ludovic 69 AG2R PREVOYANCE 5h 39′ 44″ + 05′ 16″
10. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
11. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
12. HINCAPIE George 114 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 40′ 15″ + 05′ 47″
13. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
14. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
15. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″

Contador Wins Stage 14 July 22, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Antonio Colom, Astana, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Haimar Zubeldia, Hernandez Soler, Levi Lepheimer, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Oscar Pereiro, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Stage 14, Tour de France, Yaroslav Popovych.
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Beating out Michael Rasmussen in the final sprint, Alberto Contador won Stage 14 today after two tough climbs that broke up the GC contenders and spread them across the the finishing clock. Alexander Vinokorouv’s impressive TT yesterday appeared to have taken a lot out of him today as he was one of the first GC contenders to drop off. But Contador, Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer stayed with Rasmussen until the very end, with Contador and Rasmussen attacking in the final kilometers and finishing in a sprint.

The spread of the finishers, should help to clarify the GC a bit, with only 9 GC contenders now within 10 minutes of Rasmussen overall. Discovery Channel appears to be positioned well with 3 riders in the top 10, with Contador, Leipheimer and Popovytch all performing well in the climbs today. Astana’s picture is also clearing up as Kloden appears to be the rider who can sustain in both time trials and the mountains.

This has been a great year for the Tour with drama and suspense in nearly every stage.

[Complete Results Here]
Today’s Top Finishers:

1. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 25′ 48″
2. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 25′ 48″
3. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 5h 26′ 25″ + 00′ 37″
4. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 26′ 28″ + 00′ 40″
5. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 5h 26′ 41″ + 00′ 53″
6. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
7. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
8. COLOM Antonio 192 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
9. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
10. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
11. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
12. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
13. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
14. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
15. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″

Soler Wins Stage 9 For Barloworld and Colombia July 17, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Astana, Barloworld, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Christophe Moreau, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskatel-Euskadi, Frank Schleck, Iban Mayo, Ivan Gutierrez, Juan Jose Cobo, Kim Kerchen, Levi Leipheimer, Mauricio Soler, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Predictor-Lotto, Saunier Duval, Stage 9, T-Mobile, Team Ag2r, Team Astana, Team Barloworld, Team Caisse d'Epargne, Team CSC, Team Discovery Channel, Team Predictor-Lotto, Team Rabobank, Team Saunier-Duval, Tour de France, Victor Hugo Pena, Yaroslav Popovych.
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Soler Wins Stage 9
Two Hors Categorie climbs weren’t enough to slow down Mauricio Soler (Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez, Barloworld). Michael Rasmussen was in a group only seconds behind driving hard to catch Soler, but it wasn’t to be. Rasmussen was still close enough to hold onto the Yellow Jersey for another day.

Soler’s win marks Barloworld’s first Stage win in the Tour de France, the South African-based team competing in its first tour as a wild card team. It’s also the first stage win by a Colombian since Victor Hugo Pena won stage 4 in 2003 (leading to the only Colombian Yellow Jersey to date in the history of the Tour, which Pena held for one stage).

Rasmussen also retains the Polka Dot Jersey for another day, but both Soler and Popovytch accumulated major points today putting them a close second and third in the KOM competition.

[Complete Results Here]

Top 15 Finishers Today:

1. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 4h 14′ 24″
2. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 4h 15′ 02″ + 00′ 38″
3. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 4h 15′ 02″ + 00′ 38″
4. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 04″ + 00′ 40″
5. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
6. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
7. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
8. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 4h 15′ 10″ + 00′ 46″
9. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 4h 15′ 11″ + 00′ 47″
10. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 4h 15′ 11″ + 00′ 47″
11. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 4h 15′ 18″ + 00′ 54″
12. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 4h 15′ 18″ + 00′ 54″
13. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 56″ + 01′ 32″
14. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 204 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 4h 16′ 00″ + 01′ 36″
15. GUTIERREZ José Ivan 14 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 4h 16′ 13″ + 01′ 49″

Overall Standing after Stage 9

1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 43h 52′ 48″
2. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 43h 55′ 23″ + 02′ 35″
3. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 43h 55′ 27″ + 02′ 39″
4. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 43h 55′ 29″ + 02′ 41″
5. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 43h 55′ 56″ + 03′ 08″
6. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 43h 56′ 06″ + 03′ 18″
7. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 43h 56′ 27″ + 03′ 39″
8. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 43h 56′ 38″ + 03′ 50″
9. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 43h 56′ 41″ + 03′ 53″
10. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 43h 57′ 54″ + 05′ 06″
11. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 43h 58′ 08″ + 05′ 20″
12. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 43h 58′ 22″ + 05′ 34″
13. SCHLECK Frank 36 TEAM CSC 43h 58′ 44″ + 05′ 56″
14. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 43h 59′ 17″ + 06′ 29″
15. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 43h 59′ 24″ + 06′ 36″

Rasmussen Takes a Brutal Stage 8 July 15, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, CSC, Denis Menchov, Discovery Channel, Frank Schleck, Iban Mayo, Michael Rasmussen, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Saunier Duval, Stage 8, Tour de France.
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Climbing specialist Michael Rasmussen began to show his winning form yesterday, but really shined today picking off all contenders over nearly 5 hours of increasingly difficult climbs.

Rasmussen Wins Stage 8

Complete Results Here

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 04:49:40
2. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 04:52:27 + 00:02:47
3. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 04:52:52 + 00:03:12
4. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
5. SCHLECK Frank 36 TEAM CSC 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
6. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
7. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
8. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 04:53:11 + 00:03:31
9. MENCHOV Denis 51 RABOBANK 04:53:15 + 00:03:35
10. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 04:53:15 + 00:03:35

Rabobank Announces Lineup July 3, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bram de Groot, Denis Menchov, Grischa Niermann, Juan Antonio Flecha, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Freire, Peter Weening, Rabobank, Team Rabobank, Thomas Dekker.
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Rabobank will be lead by veteran Michael Boogerd in what he has announced will be his last Tour. Supporting Boogerd will be Bram de Groot, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Oscar Freire, Denis Menchov, Grischa Niermann, Michael Rasmussen, and Peter Weening.

Dekker is a promising upcomer and should challenge for leadership in the future as Boogerd steps aside.