AC & Valv (Piti) Not Guaranteed Tour Start

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Rolfrae, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Rolfrae

    Rolfrae New Member

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    The article below is from today's http://www.cyclingnews.com Prudhomme says that Astana has damaged the Tour's image and that they would exclude whole teams rather than individual riders. I don't see how they could say no to these two riders this year when they allowed both to ride last year (there's no new evidence). Unless of course the Coni investigation sways them? Two weeks until we'll know what teams are invited to this year's soap opera.

    ARTICLE BELOW:
    In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said he could make no promises over the participation of defending champion Alberto Contador or Alejandro Valverde in this year's race, after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) recently re-opened its enquiries into OperaciĆ³n Puerto.

    "Today I cannot say that Valverde or Contador will not be in the Tour," said Prudhomme, speaking at the Tour of Qatar in Doha. "It is still early, we are not going to exclude individual riders, but instead not invite an entire team."

    While the teams for this year's Tour de France are due to be announced in two weeks time, UCI president Pat McQuaid said that the Tour was the only race to which all 18 ProTour teams should be invited, under new proposals agreed with various European cycling federations on Saturday. "All 18 ProTour teams have to take part in the Tour de France, the ASO can then add wildcard teams from the list of 12 who are using the biological passport system," said McQuaid. But he added: "There's no indication if [Tour de France organisers] ASO will accept this or not."

    Prudhomme revealed he had talked with Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel, requesting the Kazakh squad sign a contract with ASO affirming its commitment to clean cycling. "Thus, if the team had any problem relating to doping we could exclude them directly," said Prudhomme. "Today I am not going to say whether or not Astana will be at the start of the 2008 Tour, but if there is one thing that is true it's that this team has damaged the image of the Tour."


     
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  2. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones New Member

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    Interesting. I assume Prudhomme is saying that to put pressure on JB to sign some kind of agreement with ASO. The agreement could be that as soon as one Astana rider tests positive (probably before or during the TdF), the team will be excluded or something similar. There's not much love between ASO and Astana it seems and the change of management to JB didn't help them.
     
  3. poulidor

    poulidor New Member

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    The pressure is becoming significant on teams and riders...
    Everyone following cycling know what is a normal performance. When a rider would do a Landis or Basso performance, UCI will have a new target for a lot of OOC.
    If a team, especially dubious team, have a doping case, he could be off for the major races.

    So you have to dope , not be caught, and to win on a normal mode, extra power would condemn you on long term.
     
  4. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    So the idea is not to win anything before the Tour ! JB is a pro at hinding riders away for the season......... looking back on it Basso in the 06 Giro was a little silly wasn't it....... even Tommy D couldn't keep up....
     
  5. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Must...prevent myself...from making crack...about Tommy. D. This is going to be hard. :(

    Bruyneel can always use the Armstrong approach. Don't do anything before the Tour except for a couple races used to test form.

    It seems very likely that Kloden will get linked to Freiburg. I wonder if that will be enough to sink Astana's Tour chances.
     
  6. earth_dweller

    earth_dweller New Member

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    mmm what about Contador at Paris-Nice?

    I guess it still worked for Disco
     
  7. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Prudhomme may be getting inside information that CONI are going to ban Contador and Valverde from the Italian leg of the TdF, and he is getting in some media tough talk so that it doesn't look like he is a limp dick when Italy breaks the news perhaps...:confused:

    Or he might be just worried about another controversy erupting and would rather exclude any team that has a cloud over its head.
     
  8. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    It could be a feeler for what they want to do. They toss out the possibility of banning Astana and see how the public reacts.
     
  9. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    He might just be issuing a cautionary statement so that if some team is excluded, it will not come as a bomb. Honestly, I hope ASO gives UCI the middle finger with regard to UCI's requirement of having to invite all 18 ProTour teams, and makes its own independent decision.
     
  10. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Good points.

    If Astana's sponsors were scratching their heads wondering why they were forking out huge sums with no Vino... then this sort of publicity can't help. They have been painted by the chief of the marquee event as part of the "Axis of Evil". I'm waiting for them to go... [​IMG]
     
  11. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    So do I. At the end of 2006 the GTs said they would only automatically invite 18 ProTour teams for 2007 and 16 for 2008. I don't think the ASO can be too happy about the UCI still insisting the TdF invite all the teams while giving the other GTs a pass.

    The ASO was willing to piss on Unibet to make a point with the UCI last year. They could very well do it again this year.

    Imagine the Tour without Astana and Caisse. It would be wide open.
     
  12. thoughtforfood

    thoughtforfood New Member

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    Imagine the dramatic effect on the alcohol swab/needle market! Holy shit, it will make the sub-prime mortgage meltdown look like child's play.
     
  13. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    I'll start buying puts today.
     
  14. thunder

    thunder New Member

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    Caisse as a French bank, to much pull.

    But they should be turfed.

    Turf them, turf Gerolsteine and Holczers BS, turf Astana, turf EE, turf Saunier. Turf the Italians.

    Then you make a statement. You would turf the Belgians too if they had any better climbers than Monfort and Devolder, but they dont.
     
  15. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    Are you saying that a team's dirtiness is relative to how good their climbers are?

    Turf Cadel if that's the case...:p
     
  16. jonjungel

    jonjungel New Member

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    Hey, if it goes like this, Sastre might finally win something :p
     
  17. poulidor

    poulidor New Member

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    Yes but the next year they will be out. A lot of teams, riders and managers can point the riders who will dope, especially blood doping. I think omerta is finished especially inside cycling world. I doubt seriously that clean teams which have done effort and spend money would not complain if something is clearly wrong.
     
  18. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    I hope....

    I hope you are right.
     
  19. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Are you serious? What indicates this? That some new teams have stated that they 'will race differently'. I do not see this quantum leap in professional cycling morality...
     
  20. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    I think he's just referring to cyclists and the establishment keeping it all a big secret from the public.
     
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