About that “Pure Tour” of 2009? It’s getting closer to dirty. Spaniard Mikel Astarioza’s breakaway seemed unreal on the 16th stage. Now it seems it wasn’t unreal, just unclean. The UCI has suspended Astarioza for testing positive for EPO in June. It was before the Tour began, so technically we still have a clean Tour. Or not…it seems to us here at Bike Intelligencer that a doped rider sullies the race no matter when he actually did the deed. After all, Michael Rasmussen had the 2007 Tour won and still managed to smear the race by being kicked off his team on suspicions (never proven) of doping.
Rasmussen by the way is claiming he’s been blacklisted, which the UCI says is not true.
Riccardo Ricco is appealing his two-year suspension. “The rules almost don’t exist in cycling,” he says, somewhat opaquely. He’s not denying doping but trying to get out on a technicality. I guess public sympathy isn’t the goal here.
BikePure: “We acknowledge that it is the air of secrecy behind such testing whose results are rarely disclosed that has the rumor mongers shouting. Openness is the future…” Right on.