With the Tour De France just round the corner (or just over the channel if you’re being pedantic) and the chaos of the Giro D’Italia drug testing still carrying there’s all sorts going on in the pro peloton.
Big news from defending ‘Tour champion Lance Armstrong is that he’s going for a double, triple crown this year. Not only is he favourite to take the Tour for the third succesive time, but following succesful IVF treatment, his wife Kristin is pregnant again, this time with twins. At the moment though he’ll be concentrating on the Tour of Switzerland which he’ll be using as his last warm up race before the ‘Tour.
Meanwhile his prime challenger Jan Ullrich won’t be racing the Swiss tour despite it passing through his home town. Instead he’s working in the alps and pyrenees to increase the form he found in the Giro D’Italia. It’s not all pink rosy jerseys for the Telekom rider though, he’s reported to be planning to sue ex-Festina soigneur, and now leading doping pundit, Willi Voets for comments made on German television that all ‘Tour winners in the last 30 years have been doped. Ullrich responded with a denial appearance on local TV but said if he could take this on at a legal level he would, saying that he’d never even met Voets, and was angry at his sweeping statements. Ullrich is still under investgation after the Giro for officially declared asthma medicine. Nothing illegal in that itself, but with some sources reporting a startling 80% of pro riders claiming to need corticosteroids for asthma we reckoned some might be onto a cunning wheeze (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Giro winner Gilberto Simoni has announced he won’t be riding the Tour, but will ride support in the Tour De Suisse before concentrating his efforts on the Tour of Spain later in the year. Meanwhile disgraced Giro contender Dario Frigo, is now upset at statements from his team manager that they wondered how come he was suddenly going as fast as he was. Frigo is claiming that the team knew all about his suitcase full of ‘sweeteners’ (while he still denies taking any of them) whereas the team deny it all. The blood, sorry, plot thickens…….
And if that isn’t enough fun and games for the road folk, then miniature Australian mountain biking figurine Cadel Evans has gone and won a road race on his Cannondale. He’s not going to make a habit of it though, as he’s still concentrating on getting his off road form back to where it was.