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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like for the last 8 years the French press and the Tour organizers have implied and/or tried to prove that the non-French winner of their biggest race of the year is a doper.

Jan has already had 1 drug bust (true it was out of competition) and Basso has been linked in the press, Landis is on a team that has had drug problems, Vino same, George is on a team that the French have always been after and any Spanish rider is suspect. Who does that leave besides Levi (actually, now that I think about it he used to ride for Disco) and a bunch of no hope Frenchmen?

Why not just call the whole thing off?:rolleyes:
 

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MB1 said:
Seems like for the last 8 years the French press and the Tour organizers have implied and/or tried to prove that the non-French winner of their biggest race of the year is a doper.
Didn't have a problem with the American, the Spaniard, the Dane or the German winners since Hinault. Even Pantani got off lightly. But the Texan touched a nerve somehow.

But then all his predecessors rode a fuller season, so maybe they were perceived to be more worthy?
 

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ultimobici said:
Didn't have a problem with the American, the Spaniard, the Dane or the German winners since Hinault. Even Pantani got off lightly. But the Texan touched a nerve somehow.

But then all his predecessors rode a fuller season, so maybe they were perceived to be more worthy?
The American, the Spaniard, the Dane and the German were all "sympa", the Texan never was.
 

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dagger said:
I laughed at Voeckler's comment about being ashamed to compete against cheaters and having the same colors on his gloves that the "cheaters" will use on their team kits in the TDF.
He better watch which riders he takes a bottle from or he's the one that is going to get busted after comments like that. After all he could have been talking about his own team and been just as accurate about cheaters wearing the same colors.

I am still waiting for the next shoe to drop after the French were (and are) still puffing on about how clean they are as an excuse for not winning even after the Cofidis affair showed what a lie that is.
 

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MB1 - I read the anglo, the franco, the hispano, the teutonic and the italo press re. cycling in Europe. Let me tell you there is a masssive chasm between what the US press picks up on ("French witch hunt against Armstrong!!!! - details at 6:00 o'clock tonight") and what the others report on. Having gravitated in the Euro pro peleton for the past 12 years, allow me also to say that what you read about in the US is an "altered" view of reality -- to put it nicely!

Yes, the French will be checking up on the TDF leaders irrespective of their nationality -- keep in mind it was the French who busted Gaumont (french), Millar (french team), Festina (french team and french riders) et al. Keep in mind also that the French have no monopoly on busting the leaders of their national tours for doping offences -- our meridianal neighbours have some experience in this domain -- just ask Pantani's ghost (Giro - 1999), Garzelli (Giro - 2002) and Heras (Vuelta 2005 -- surprisingly signalling a sea-change in Iberian anti-doping policy!).

Those responsible for french anti-doping controls, like their other grand-tour counterparts, have been suspicious of the performances of not only the TDF leaders but of many cyclists since 1998 -- and recent events would tend to confirm their suspicions that something fishy is going on! (small aside: a pro TDF rider I know -- not french -- labeled the peleton "a scary medical experiment on wheels").

The type of blood doping uncovered in "Operacion Puerto" and hinted to by Manzano and others would appear to be more rampant than many had previously thought -- and it is precisely this kind of doping (along with EPO "micro-dosing" and actovegin use) that the French national federation longitudnal medical controls carried out by *independent* medical supervision makes particularly difficult to carry out (just ask Philippe Gaumont whose bike incidently, I almost bought after he was busted -- it was a good deal seeing the relatively little use it had seen!). So perhaps the fact that we might see a "bunch of no hope Frenchmen" -- as you so eloquently put it -- ride competitively in this year's TDF may reflect more on the inability of many others in the peleton to get some jacked-up blood than on the current and past demerits of french riders per se -- but that is just speculation on my part. It could be also that the french have found some new method to circumvent their own very strict national controls that, oddly, no other federation has sought to emulate.

Whatever the result, I should think that the "attractiveness" of Girona as a winter cycling base should diminish somewhat in the years to come -- I can't think of a single french rider who was /is based there. Perhaps we shall see the rest of the peleton move from the dope haven that was Spain to the tax havens that are Switzerland and Monaco -- and thus join up with many of our ex-pat french riders!

My word to all -- learn to read the international press and don't believe the hype!

A+

Philippe
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL, so true.

philippec said:
...labeled the peleton "a scary medical experiment on wheels"
Thanks for posting a reply, I wondered what your take on the whole "doping thing" was.

BTW we did a Double Century in California last fall, I was amazed by all the drugs (of all sorts) the faster riders were openly taking-makes me wonder what they may have been taking on the side. This for a ride with no prizes, glory or posted results.
 

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From the Tyler Hamilton debacle it is apparent that at least some riders blood is being followed by the UCI/WADA as well. The French really have been handicapped since their federation instituted those medical checks so early on. Are any other federations doing that even today?

I always thought it was rather telling that really the only two French riders who enjoyed much success in the post-Festina, French federation crackdown era were Jalabert and Virenque who both took out foreign licences.
 
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