Faster than Illes Balears could say “we should have offered him a contract extension,” Rabobank’s Denis (apparently pronounced “Denny”, due to the missing “n”) rolled to victory on a tricky, 7km prologue. Just a second back was BeNeLux prologue winner Rik (I believe still prounounced “Rick,” even with the missing consonant) Verbrugghe, who was no doubt hampered by this Lemond-era TT helmet. Let that be a lesson to you all to tip your eqiupment managers. (And if that’s not motivation enough, this should really loosen your purse strings).
Other notables (likely GC contenders, that is – you can see how your own personal heros did here) turning a good performance today were Disco’s Tommy D (5th), Roberto Heras of Liberty Seguros (7th), Santi Botero (Phonak, 9th, and Lampre’s Gilberto Simoni, a surprising 10th. Those not faring so well: Botero’s teammate Floyd Landis, in 48th, and crash victim Joseba Beloki, who only managed to beat two riders, each of whom crashed harder than he did.
As Armstrongate meanders onward, USA Cycling has announced they will not sanction the Texan. “We will perform our function as stated in the guidelines,” said a USAC rep, Fair enough. Meanwhile, the head of the LNDD (the laboratoire responsable for most of the “science” behind Armstrongate) has revealed to the German press that a whopping 40 of the 70 samples from the 1998 TdF turned up positive for EPO. No shocker there, but the director did admonish readers to “be careful; that doesn’t mean that there were forty different riders who doped.” Yeah, it only shows that over 50% of the urine samples you took were hot. I don’t know how the French do math, but on this side of the Atlantic, those aren’t considered real good numbers.