From the Netherlands

July 5, 2008

In a recent Radio Netherlands’ news report, they said…

“The 95th edition of the Tour de France starts in Brest later this afternoon. For the first time since 1967 there is no prologue. The opening stage is a 197.5 kilometre race from Brest to Plumelec. The sprinters are expected to make a good showing as the first stage is fairly flat.

A number of cyclists including Denmark’s Michael Rasmussen and last year’s winner Alberto Contador, have been excluded from this year’s tour due to drugs charges. This year’s favourites are Australia’s Cadel Evans, Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and Russia’s Denis Menchov.”

I disagree about the way the drug charges comment was presented. Contador and his team are not in the race because of drug use (alleged) by some of his TEAM’s riders. Contador was clean, otherwise the UCI et al would be hounding him like they did Floyd Landis.

Further, the Tour seems not to touch another country this year. I’m saying this without taking a closer look at the map, but it seems that everything stays within France for the 95th Tour de France.