Tales from the peloton, July 26, 2007
Just 24 hours after the Tour de France was rocked by Alexandre Vinokourov's positive A sample, and his Astana team's withdrawal from the event, the Tour's foundations have once again been shaken with more doping controversy, bomb threats and the sacking of Tour leader Michael Rasmussen. The drama began to unravel as bomb threats were reported by Cadena Ser radio, with the station's website later claiming a small explosion took place in woods by Stage 16's route, after the peloton had passed through.
Shortly after news broke that Cristian Moreni's post Stage 11 sample had tested positive for testosterone. As Moreni was greeted by French police who arrested the rider after the day's stage, news was released that, like Astana the previous day, the entire Cofidis squad was to be sent home.
A matter of hours latter, and a full day after his team proclaimed there was no reason to leave the Tour, a Rabobank spokesperson confronted the media in the Mercure Hotel's parking lot to announce the squad had sacked its squad leader Michael Rasmussen.
With the past 48 hours as precedent, picking the Tour de France winner, or indeed who will be left standing when the peloton arrives in Paris, is anyone's guess.