German Tour riders who write online diaries were unanimous -- things can't go on this way! So they participated in a small demonstration before the start of Wednesday's stage. And all of this was before the latest doping case was announced and leader Rasmussen taken out of the race.
"It's been a long time since I had so little interest in riding a race," said Gerolsteiner's Bernhard Kohl on his website, bernhardkohl.at. "Our team all took part in the protest. We simply wanted to show our displeasure with the doping cases and show that we want to change things. It can't go on like this!"
"We just wanted to make a point. We don't want to boycott the Tour de France -- we can't do that because of the sponsors, if nothing else," wrote his teammate Fabian Wegmann on fabianwegmann.de.
"We tried to make a point against doping," according to sprinter Robert Förster, also of Gerolsteiner. "We thought about it for a long time, what should we do? Should we even ride at all? But to drop out -- that wouldn't be fair to the sponsors or fans. We aren't the ones who should leave," the German reported on his diary at radsport-news.com.
"It's possible that a little strike of a few minutes might look like it won't do anything. But the teams and the riders who took part want to change things. And with our protest action we want to challenge everyone to go in this direction with us: towards a doping-free cycling," wrote T-Mobile's Linus Gerdemann at radsport-aktiv.de