Former professional Marcel Wüst, who rode for Festina and also participated in the Tour du Pont in the 90's, answered questions on www.spiegel.de from fans, stating that "apparently there are still riders who haven't gotten it. But the case Sinkewitz has also positive sides. Finally the control system seems to work. It is not like earlier, when it was just random controls. The net is getting tighter."
To the more casual question if cyclists smoke occasionally, Wüst replied that chain smokers, like there were reportedly in the 50's or 60's, don't exist anymore among cyclists, but it could happen "at a party in the winter, when they may drink a little more and then light up a cigarette or cigar," but concedes that the day after that rider is likely very sick.
He elaborated on the fact that the time has come for people like Jens Voigt, as some of the sprinters' teams don't have their fast men anymore and Rabobank will be contend to let a group go that is no threat to the overall.
To the reader who wanted the stages 100 kilometres long, to cut out the less eventful beginning, Wüst said that it's necessary to make the stages longer, "so they are tougher and make the difference in the end." He also pointed out the obvious, that there would be more transfers. His advise was to "turn on the TV later and do sports yourself until then."
As for his favourites, he named Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) on the top, but thought that Rasmussen had a chance depending on how much time he can gain in the Pyrénées. He wasn't sure about Andreas Klöden (Astana), saying that "with his injuries, we will have to see how it affects him."
He also talked about the watts put out by a sprinter, saying his maximum was 1125 as of a year ago (he retired in 2000), and that the top sprinters do around 1,400-1,500 watts, which they can hold for seven to ten seconds. In the typical test where the wattage is increased every three minutes he managed 450, whereas top guys can reach 600.