Friday, June 26, 2009
American Chris Horner seemed to be a sure bet for Astana's Tour de France roster. After all, he put in a brilliant performance as a mountain domestique in the Giro d'Italia before exiting early after a crash with a broken tibia.
Yet when the team announced its final roster earlier this week, the Oregon resident was not on the list. Upset at the prospect of missing one of his last opportunities to race in the sport's big show, the 37-year-old's first reaction was to try to leave the team and find another squad which would bring him to the Tour.
Writing on his blog on OregonLive.com, Horner revealed the inner workings of team manager Johan Bruyneel's choice of nine riders for the Tour.
"Knowing there was no reason to get upset with Johan, I hung up the phone after thanking him for what I knew was a hard call to make, and for the fighting I knew he had done on my behalf with sponsors and riders on the team to get me on," Horner wrote.
Chalking up his exclusion to politics, he explained that one spot had to go to a Kazakh rider to please the team's sponsor, who scrambled to keep the team afloat after its financial crisis.
The top four riders on the team were given expected spots: Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden.
Horner explained that Haimar Zubeldia and Yaroslav Popovych were selected early as support riders, leaving two spots on the team. The first went to Gregory Rast, who is "a big guy who could help tackle the flats", and Horner thought he would surely get the final place on the team.
Instead, the place was given to Sergio Paulinho, who was Contador's choice as a support rider.
Horner did not place blame on Bruyneel, instead he thanked him, saying to his fans, "don't be too hard on him -- he has a difficult job and was stuck in an impossible position."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Nevada City Classic promoter Duane Strawser has been working with Lance Armstrong's manager to coordinate the potential entry of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, and Chris Horner into the race. Thirty minutes ago Lance twittered that they would, indeed, be coming to the event (https://twitter.com/lancearmstrong). We can't guarantee this will happen, but Lance certainly intends to be there.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
PARIS (Reuters) -- This year's Tour de France will be the most scrutinized sports event ever by anti-doping authorities, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid said on Wednesday.
More than 500 tests will be carried out during the world's greatest stage race featuring 180 riders, with 50 of them set to undergo more tests than the others.
The 50 riders have been targeted because they are either top contenders or because their biological passports have raised suspicions in the UCI.
"The Tour de France will be the most tested event in the history of sports," McQuaid told a news conference, adding the UCI would work in collaboration with the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD). "It is enormous".
"The 50 riders were picked on a sporting basis, among the favorites of the Tour de France, and also from the knowledge we have got from the biological passport.
"What is important is not the number of tests, but the fact that we target riders," said AFLD president Pierre Bordry.
He added the names of the 50 riders would not be made public.
All riders will give two blood samples on Thursday, July 2, two days before the start, which will be analyzed and stored for possible further testing. UCI doctor Mario Zorzoli said eight to 11 riders would be tested every day.
Bordry said the UCI and the AFLD would work closely together to zero in on cheats following a first collaboration during the Paris-Nice stage race in March.
"I want to state that those who dope will have to be very careful because we will be extremely thorough," he said.
In October, 2007, the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced they would collect blood samples from all professional riders to create a medical profile, or passport, that would be compared to the data registered in doping tests.
The Tour de France has been marred by doping scandals in the past three years.
In last year's edition, top Italian rider Riccardo Ricco was kicked out of the race after failing a test for the new generation of EPO called CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).
Austrian Bernhard Kohl, third overall and the race's top climber, as well as Italian Leonardo Piepoli and German Stefan Schumacher were also found guilty of using CERA following retroactive tests carried out in September.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
One more quick thought about this....I'm not clear on the timing of the officer's employment as a cop and his DUI's, but... aside from the incident of running over the cyclists, how does ANYONE with two DUI's either keep their job as a cop or get hired as one?? A person who's job it is to spend most of his day driving around, enforcing the laws of the road!?
On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM, Mike Berry
I am outraged at the decision that two people can be killed by a police officer who then has to sit at home and watch TV for four months as his punishment. Not only do I no longer feel safe to ride my bike on the road, I don't feel safe having my children walking on the sidewalk knowing that anyone can drive right into us, claim they fell asleep, and get to watch TV for four months as their punishment. This is an affront to justice, sets a horrible precedent, increases the fear of the population, destroys the reputation of the police force, justifiably inspires the anger of victims, and causes us all to lose confidence in the fairness of the judicial system.
I would ask that the case be appealed to a higher court and that a proper, far more severe sentence be leveled upon James Council regardless of whether he feel asleep at the wheel or not. I further ask that the law be changed so that anyone involved in a fatal crash be required to submit to tests at the time of the accident to see if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
And what were the results of the drug test that was given to Council by the Sheriff's office? How come this has never been made public? With two DUI's on his record already, not revealing this information certainly smells of conspiracy, or at the best gross negligence, in the case of the worst crime. Many people will feel that the Thin Blue was never crossed, to the joy of Council's family and the tears of the families of the lives he took.
Bay Area cyclist and father
Article referenced: http://www.sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? f=/c/a/2009/ 06/06/BAK7181IQE .DTL&type=printable
[copy: Santa Clara Sherriff's office, Santa Clara District Attorney's Office, Peninsula Velo cycling club, all Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara]