A visit from the UCI's medical inspectors

By Susan Westemeyer

Gerolsteiner roommates Fabian Wegmann and Robert Förster took advantage of the upcoming rest day to stay up until 1 a.m. watching motorcycle races on TV on Sunday night. "We thought we could sleep in the next morning," wrote Förster in his diary at www.radsport-news.com. "But no! A loud knock on the door at 8:20. Blood control. I couldn't get back to sleep and went to breakfast."

Wegmann experienced it this way: "Finally rest day. Finally a chance to catch up on some sleep? No way. The "Vampires" were in our hotel room at 8 in the morning. No, not a horror film, but the doping commissioners for a blood control. With half-closed eyes you let them take your tired blood. The "Good Morning" sticks in your throat, but then, the guys are only doing their job. However, it's bearable only when the doctor knows what he's doing with the needle and hits the vein on the first try. But when he needs three tries, then I get a little irritated and a little nasty." (www.fabianwegmann.de)

Gerolsteiner's Ronny Scholz also bemoaned the fact that he couldn't sleep as long as wanted because of the visit from the "bloodsuckers" but further noted that all the results were acceptable. (www.ronnyscholz.de)

They also visited Domina Vacanze, and Jörg Ludewig, who strikes a by-now familiar theme: "Finally rest day, a chance to sleep in! Wanna bet? At 7:30 we were nicely, but definitely, awakened: doping controls ... All the teams in our hotel were checked. I have been checked three times so far at this Tour: at the health check before the start, randomly selected after a stage, and then today. And that was probably not the last time. That show how tight the controls are here. Whoever uses banned substances here, is riding hara kiri and certainly deserves to be caught." (www.radsport-news.com)

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