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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tour de France

The 95th Tour de France started today in Brittany and will finish on July 27th on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after 2,175 miles. The goal for organizers of the ride: The riders reach the finish line in three weeks with no doping scandals.
The past two years of the most elite ride in cycling has been darkened by doping, illegal transfusions, lying, and cheating. For someone like myself who loves the world of cycling, I have no forgiveness for those who chose to select 'the low road'. I feel sadness for those cyclists who have been caught up in the wrong-doings of fellow team mates. There are several strong and popular riders absent from this year's ride for that very reason. One of my favorites, Levi Leipheimer, will not ride this year. Last year's winner, Alberto Contador, will not ride this year. Neither of them received invitations to return because they are members of Team Astana. Last year's scandal involving Alexandre Vinokourov caused the entire team to be ousted. But as one journalist has written, "People are talking about the ones who are absent, but once the race starts, people will stop talking about them and start talking about those who are here."
Right now, everyone is talking about Alejandro Valverde from Spain. He just won the first stage of the 2008 Tour de France.