Four years after the tumultuous 2010 Tour de France, the results are being rewritten again. Alberto Contador was the winner on the podium in Paris, being flanked by runner-up Andy Schleck and third-placed Denis Menchov. Due to his positive test for clenbuterol, Contador lost his third Tour de France victory half a year later to Andy Schleck, and now Menchov has been stripped of his third place finish.
Menchov had become runner-up and Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez moved up to a spot on the podium after Contador's positive test. Four years on, Menchov will now be removed from the results due to anomalies in his biological passport, which were belatedly revealed on Saturday. Andy Schleck remains the winner while, at least in theory, Sanchez becomes runner-up and Belgian rider Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) is now to be considered a Tour de France podium finisher.
Back in February 2012, Van Den Broeck was nonplussed by his elevation to fourth place following confirmation of Contador's disqualification. "I'm not happy with this news. The race has been raced and I finished fifth. In my opinion I remain fifth. I don't know the details of the [Clenbuterol] case but in the past there's been guys who were tested positive because of eating contaminated meat. If that's the case then it's very sad for him [Contador],” Van Den Broeck told Sporza Radio back then.
After finishing off the pace on Saturday's Tour de France mountain stage to Gérardmer, the 31-year-old Belgian slipped from fifth to tenth in the standings. Afterwards he was asked at the team bus what he thought about Menchov's disqualification and his probable elevation to third in the final overall standings for 2010. "I don’t know anything about it. I've been racing my bike so we don't hear much about it. They did say something about it but there's not much more to be said about it. If there's no statements then you can't react on them," Van Den Broeck said.
Menchov has been removed from the results of the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Tours, although he retains his third place finish from 2008. On that occasion, Menchov was elevated to third following Bernhard Kohl's positive test for EPO.
Speaking to NOS at the start in Gérardmer on Sunday, Van Den Broeck said: "These are all speculations since I didn't see anything official. The third place is there but it hasn't got much value because the nice thing about the podium is that you're actually on it at the Champs Elysées. If they do it now on paper, four years after the event… I finished fifth then and it'll remain fifth to me. Would it be better to be on the podium this year? I'll try."
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