Bike Intelligencer » 2010 Tour de France All bike, all the time Wed, 13 May 2015 21:53:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This Day in Doping: Contador weirdness Thu, 30 Sep 2010 08:41:35 +0000 Tour de France winner (controversially) Alberto Contador has been suspended pending further investigation of a minute quantity of banned substance found in a blood sample from his winning effort last July.

Not much is known about the substance, clenbuterol, and Contador reportedly contends that food contamination is the only possible source.

Reaction is low key so far.

If Contador is found in violation and stripped of his Tour title, it hopefully will go to Andy Schleck, who deserved the overall win anyway.

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Tour de France 2010: Two Northwest riders in Top 10! Thu, 22 Jul 2010 16:32:42 +0000 The final day of the Pyrenees in this year’s Tour de France shook up the Top 10 enough to put two Pacific Northwest riders in the top 10. (If you count Victoria, B.C. as the Pacific Northwest, which in this case we do!)

Our guess is this is the first time the Tour has had two Nor’westerners in the Top 10 this late in the race (if ever), but our crack research department is investigating just to be sure.

Bend OR's Chris Horner

While we were bummed that Wenatchee’s Tyler Farrar had to drop out of the Tour with a broken wrist, our regional jingoism has been fed by the unexpected rise of Canadian Ryder Hesjedal and Bend, Oregon’s Chris Horner to 8th and 10th respectively after today’s stage up the punishing slopes of the Col du Tourmalet.

Victoria B.C.'s Ryder Hesjedal

Hesjedal, who as we like to point out has the best first name in cycling and is a former mountain bike champion, finished fourth and Horner eighth in one of any Tour’s toughest stages, our theory being that the unseasonably cool and foggy weather put them right at home in the stage. Nothing like a little gray and chill to stoke the competitive fires of two N-Dub riders.

Coincidentally, Horner is Team Radio Shack teammate to two riders who were expected to finish far above him in the rankings — Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer. With neither having the stuff for Tourmalet, and Radio Shack’s team lead in the Tour on the line, Horner had the green light to ride off the front of the pack.

It’s long-overdue respect for Horner, who’s had some bad luck in his career and been left off Armstrong’s team in the past by manager Johan Bruyneel. Horner finished a noteworthy fourth in May’s Tour of California, though, and has always been considered a stronger rider than his role as domestique would allow him to demonstrate.

Horner is also an accomplished writer and blogger, and is doing a daily video diary for VeloNews.

Whether their positioning will carry into Paris on Sunday may be in doubt, given the penultimate time trial on Saturday. But for now, it’s great to see Ryder and Chris putting the upper left corner of the continent on the Grand Tour map.

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2010 Tour de France trash-talking already under way! Fri, 16 Oct 2009 10:22:14 +0000 Lance says his main rival in the 2010 Tour de France will be Alberto Contador. Bert says his main rival will be Andy Schleck. The Tour is what, 9 months away? And the gamesmanship is already in full play.

And speaking of being coy, Lance still hasn’t made up his mind whether to race the Giro or Tour of California. So, hey, we’ll do it for him. Lance, you and I both know the Giro would be better training for the Tour. In fact, you might even want to win the Giro, given the fact you never have, it would be a nice feather in your comeback hat, and you and you won’t win the Tour. But you and I also know that Team Radio Shack is an American team, with American sponsors, and skipping out on the “Tour de France” of America — the Tour of California — which deliberately moved back its dates (despite the conflict with the Giro) to accommodate growing crowds and media interest, as well as the weather gods, would be a ginormous snub.

So, decision made: It’s Cali all the way. But for now, keep us all guessing. It’s more fun that way.

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