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28

US-Based Discovery Channel Team Takes First and Third in this Year’s Tainted TDF

There are some that are calling for this year’s Tour de France to conclude without crowning a winner.  That seems patently absurd to me.  To punish those who are clean because some used drugs or doping to compete makes no sense.  It’s like calling off the World Series because some players were found to be taking steroids.  Geesh.  Take the cheaters out back and shoot ’em.  Let the honest ones have their glory.

If there is any good news to come out of the Tour, at least for Americans, it’s that the US-based Discovery Channel team will take first and third in the race.  While there is one more leg to go tomorrow, traditionally, riders do not try to jockey for position during the stage.  It’s more ceremonial.

The Discovery Channel Team’s 24-year-old Spanish rider, Alberto Contador, will be wearing the Yellow Jersey for the final stage and will be crowned this year’s TDF winner.  34-year-old American Levi Leipheimer, also of Discovery Channel, will share the podium in third place, having completed today’s final time trial with the fastest time.  Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto team) of Australia will take second place.  One more Discovery Channel rider, Yaroslav Popovych (UKR) also finished in the top ten of the race with eighth place.

I’m sure the irony of the fact that the only team, Discovery Channel, from the country with the absolute least interest in the sport in the world, the US, takes first and third positions in the race is not lost on some disgruntled competitors.  Additionally, Americans will take four of the top 25 positions in the race.  Maybe that doesn’t seem earth-shattering, but again, how many kids grow up in the US thinking their going to be professional cyclists?  Not such a bad showing after all.

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 July 28th, 2007  
 Will  
 Cycling  
   
 4 Comments

4 Responses to US-Based Discovery Channel Team Takes First and Third in this Year’s Tainted TDF

  1. I appreciate that cycling has the confidence and integrity to scrutinize drug abuse issues so closely. Compare cycling to a sport like baseball where steroid use is widely known (does anyone actually doubt Bond’s steroid use?). But, Bud Selig isn’t willing to push the issue, lest the MLB starts to lose fans. I’m glad to see that cycling is very clear in their message that performance enhancing drug abuse will not be tolerated. A little bloodshed now will be good in the long run, especially for the record books. In the MLB, the all-time home run leader will have to bear a “scarlet asterisk”.

  2. I appreciate that cycling has the confidence and integrity to scrutinize drug abuse issues so closely. Compare cycling to a sport like baseball where steroid use is widely known (does anyone actually doubt Bond’s steroid use?). But, Bud Selig isn’t willing to push the issue, lest the MLB starts to lose fans. I’m glad to see that cycling is very clear in their message that performance enhancing drug abuse will not be tolerated. A little bloodshed now will be good in the long run, especially for the record books. In the MLB, the all-time home run leader will have to bear a “scarlet asterisk”.

  3. Andrew,

    I think this is an excellent point. At least the sport is trying. I suppose there is a bit more frustration because doping is actually very hard to detect in a casual way (as opposed to steroid use, for example), and people get caught in the hopelessness of it. I know that I do at times.

    Did you catch the comment made by Vinokourov written in this week’s Sports Illustrated? Apparently, some were accusing him of doping with his father’s blood, who was at the Tour. Vinokourov, when confronted with this, said that if that were the case, a blood test would show that he was using vodka to improve his performance.

  4. Andrew,

    I think this is an excellent point. At least the sport is trying. I suppose there is a bit more frustration because doping is actually very hard to detect in a casual way (as opposed to steroid use, for example), and people get caught in the hopelessness of it. I know that I do at times.

    Did you catch the comment made by Vinokourov written in this week’s Sports Illustrated? Apparently, some were accusing him of doping with his father’s blood, who was at the Tour. Vinokourov, when confronted with this, said that if that were the case, a blood test would show that he was using vodka to improve his performance.

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