Giro complete…here comes the TDF!

June 1, 2008

With Alberto Contador the 2008 winner of the Giro D’Italia, the next major race on the docket is the Dauphiné Libéré beginning next week in Avignon, France.

And, because we’ve just cracked the first day of June, we’ve got a mere month before we find out if Astana will be allowed in the Tour de France in July.

According to reports – READ THE ENTIRE STORY

Organisers of the Tour de France, run by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) said earlier this year that the doping scandals which plagued Astana at last year’s French race had left them with little choice despite the team undergoing a mass clear-out.

The team’s former leader, Alexandre Vinokourov, was fired after testing positive for a blood transfusion during last year’s Tour de France.

Weeks after the Vinokourov controversy his fellow Kazakh Andrey Kashechkin also tested positive for blood doping. Other teams riders, including Matthias Kessler and Eddy Mazzoleni, were also involved in doping affairs.

Unlike the French, the Italians relented and finally allowed Astana in.

But I’m worried that this year’s Tour will still start with one less team than in previous years and will lack the excitement that Contador, Levi Leipheimer and other Astana riders might have offered.

Stay tuned here while I ramp up the recaps and start to provide my predictions for the 2008 Tour de France.

Keep riding!