Vande Velde disappointed in Beltrán

By Gregor Brown in Toulouse After hearing the news that Manuel Beltrán tested positive for...

By Gregor Brown in Toulouse

After hearing the news that Manuel Beltrán tested positive for Erythropoietin, American Christian Vande Velde said he felt "disappointment".

"It brings everyone back into that focus," Vande Velde, Garmin's GC leader, said to Cyclingnews the following morning. "The whole media caravan is in front of the Liquigas bus and those guys have not done anything – the guy that did something is gone."

Team Liquigas's Beltrán was caught as part of an anti-doping control following stage one. The news came out the night after stage seven in Aurillac that his "A" sample was positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

"It is hard because it has been a great race and one animated by teams that have an anti-doping programme within them." Vande Velde is part of one of those teams, Team Garmin Chipotle presented by H30. Both he and Beltrán raced for Lance Armstrong's US Postal, although during different years.

Vande Velde disagreed with the Beltrán/Armstrong connection that was immediately made in many reports. "That is wrong. That was years ago," he said. "'Triki' was a really strong rider before he came to Lance Armstrong, so I don't think there is any association."

Beltrán, at age 37, was considered one of cycling's old-guard. The newer generation coming up the ranks may have a different take on how to participate in the sport.

"I hope that the [young] guys don't even think about it," Vande Velde said. "We had never thought about it and that is maybe why we were blindsided by it. You would not think that someone would be doing it at this point in time."

Vande Velde sits fourth in the general classification and is ready to give his rivals trouble in the coming two high-mountain stages of Sunday and Monday.

"I am giving all my power for tomorrow, Bagnères de Bigorre, and then everything for Hautacam. These last two days have been tough, but they have been tough for everyone."

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