Yup, that’s the only news around. Eurosport has three stories about it (including what appears to be an Eminem reference. Velonews adds four more features, including one addressing the issue of doping, yet without mentioning Dick Pound’s formless, meandering diatribe in yesterday’s Guardian. Way to cover relevant news stories. It’s like all of American cycling coverage slides off the face of the earth when the words “Tour” and “de” arn’t followed immediately by “France.” And speaking of my boy DP, don’t think I forgot about my threats from yesterday. I lit pound up but good in a Rant that’ll be posted tomorrow, when the page stops looking like crap. That way, when people link to it, it’ll look respectable and whatnot.
So what is the ’06 Tour like? Like no Tour’s been for a while. Flat for a week, then a TT, then only two days in the Pyrennes, then two flat stages, then 4 days in the Alpes, then a TT and home to Paris. All the action in the last two weeks with little futzing around waiting for tour to end so the guy in Yellow can win. It’ll also be chaotic for the first week, so lookout, Tyler Hamilton, if your doping chrages get dropped. Also, I wonder who gave them the more chronos idea. But what to the riders and coaches think? Well, Bjarne Riis is clearly bummed that they’ll be no TTT, Johan Bruyneel thought he was singled out in doping discussions, Basso is revved up, but Valverde says he needs to do some serious TT tareja. Partick LeFevere thinks there at 10 stages Boonen could win (that’d be a record, or something), Floyd Landis thinks its ok, Ullrich’s coach Rudy Pevenage thinks there’s something for everyone, and Rassmussen says it’ll be harder to win the dots this time around.
Velonews, in the time it’s taken me to write this post, has put up another story, bringing their total to five. Though cyclingnews is currently asleep down in Australia, they’ll be hard pressed to match that kind of production. Oh, yes, this most recentl article is just another “France hates Lance” sort of thing; Jean-Marie LeBlanc, introducing his last TdF as ASO chief, referred to the Armstrong era as “a very, very long chapter.” Here are some other pieces on the topic, while the “other” news today is that Stuart O’Grady has signed with CSC.