Tour de France news shorts

Leopard Trek riders fear for their lives

Some of the Leopard Trek riders endured one of the most frightening moments of the season on their way to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Flying in a private jet from Luxembourg to Nantes on Tuesday evening, the small plane was shaken by deteriorating weather conditions. Fabian Cancellara said on Twitter: "We lost around 100 feet... It was first time I was not on my seat any more for a bit."

Linus Gerdemann was reported to have stepped off the plane snow-white and needing to empty his upset stomach. Other team members, too, were very scared. "I feared the worst," said team director Thorsten Schmidt. "I really thought that this was my last flight ever."

No more beef for Contador

Following his positive test for Clenbuterol which he attributed to contaminated steak, Alberto Contador has changed his diet. In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, he admitted that he "hasn't touched veal meat" since the doping case started last autumn, though he apparently still eats other kinds of meat. "I know that the vast majority (of meat producers) do things right, but there can always be someone who breaks the law," he said.

Voeckler and Galland become pre-Tour fathers

Just days before the Tour de France Grand Départ, French riders Thomas Voeckler and Jérémy Galland have become dads for the second time. Voeckler's wife Julie gave birth to a baby girl, Lila, on Tuesday night. Both mother and daughter, as well as her two-year-old brother Mahé are doing well.

Saur-Sojasun rider Galland also welcomed his second baby girl on Monday evening. "Neïs is beautiful... All congratulations to her mother! She will give me additional motivation for the Tour...!" the Tour de France rookie wrote on his website.

Quinziato loses suitcase

BMC rider Manuel Quinziato is looking for his suitcase. Even though the Italian arrived in Nantes on Wednesday, his suitcase didn't. On Thursday, he tweeted "Just called the Nantes Airport to know where's my suitcase! Probably the most useless call ever!!"

To make the Grand Depart worse for Quinziato and his teammates, they are staying at a Campanile chain hotel. Quinziato tried to look at it positively: "Hotel Campanile Time. Rock'n roll!" was his reaction.

 Leukemans gets gender education

While many pros pass their evening time playing video games or chatting on social networks, Belgian rider Björn Leukemans has brought a few books with him to the Tour de France - but not just any books. Het Nieuwsblad peeked into the rider's suitcase and discovered the single man's interest for the scientific study of sex and couple therapy. "Haar seksbijbel" (Her sex bible) from Goedele Liekens, as well as the well-known classic "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" from John Gray will provide a good read and food for thought for the Vacansoleil rider.

"With these two books, I hope to finally come to understand women. That is my extra-sporting goal for this Tour de France," Leukemans explained.

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