By Brecht Decaluwé in Pau
Stage 7 winner and the rider who gave up the yellow jersey to Michael Rasmussen, Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile) was philosophical about the withdrawal of Rasmussen when he talked with Cyclingnews at the start in Pau.
"We were watching TV when we heard the news. It's a late start so we were still awake," Gerdemann smiled. He seemed to feel that the news was a good sign for the sport. "We are on the right way. People who don't want to learn have to leave cycling."
Every rider that is participating in this Tour de France has signed the UCI's antidoping charter in which they promised to give up a year's wages if caught doping. That means that Vinokourov, Moreni and possibly even Rasmussen may be giving up their salaries as punishment, but that's no consolation for their teams, the sponsors, the mechanics and other people involved with the team.