So, the three grand tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) have been released from the UCI's Pro Tour roster, as requested. The Tour Down Under has been moved up into their place as a new Pro Tour for next year (something the Aussie's have been wanting for a long time) allowing the UCI to expand the Pro Tour to countries outside of Europe (something they've been wanting to do for a long time). Are we all happy now? Can we play nicely? No more fighting?
I think that the Tour Down Under organizers should be careful what they wish for.
Moving on, I'm scrolling through the news on CN today and I see this little item buried halfway down the page about how tests have now revealed that Rasmussen was taking Dynepo - an EPO-like product - during the 2007 Tour. This isn't bigger news? Technically the UCI hasn't listed Dynepo as a banned substance yet, but that's simply because it's fairly new on the market and the WADA doping tests haven't caught up to it yet. But basically the Chicken was doing EPO during the Tour this year.
My guess is that the Rabobank team management found this out earlier and that's part of the reason they pulled him out. And thank God they did. What happened this year was bad enough. Can you imagine if he'd stayed in the race, won it, and then tested positive for a drug akin to EPO? Two TdF winners testing positive back-to-back?
Bettini and Valverde will both be riding on Sunday in the elite men's road race at the World Championships. Valverde won his appeal with the CAS and, according to CN, "the Stuttgart District Court dismissed the petition to grand a preliminary injunction" against Bettini to prevent him from starting on Sunday. A very important break for both of them as this is a huge race on each of their calendars. Bettini is obviously defending the title that he won there last year, and Valverde has taken 2nd place twice in this race and 3rd last year.
Cathy, thanks for dropping by and giving us the great update on Interbike. Sounds like you're having a great time. I hope you'll provide pics when you get back.
Dicovery Channel's Fumiyuki Beppu has announced that he will be riding with Dutch team Skil-Shimano next year. Always makes me happy to hear that another one of those guys has found a new home. We'll have to take the ones that are left over at the end of the season and put them in a cardboard box and leave them on the doorstep of Jonathan Vaughters.
Our favourite Fat Cyclist has recently started contributing a weekly column over at Bike Radar. Check out his piece from last week. So funny. I was still chuckling to myself about it last night as I was getting ready for bed.
T-Mobile unveiled their new squad for 2008 yesterday and they've decided to hire a whole fleet of baby cyclists. 12 out of the 27-man team are under the age of 25. Big George is going to be like the wise old grandfather. He'll sit them on his knee, one by one, and tell them about how they did it back in his day. "When I was your age we didn't even have wheels. We had to push the bike along the road with our bare feet. There were no team cars. We carried 400 water bottles on our backs up the Alps each day. And a man named Lance Armstrong was our king."