Woah, wow, dang

I had refrained from including too much of Operation Puerto in my Tour talk, waiting to see how things would resolve themselves. Most of the talk had centered around Astana Wurth, which seemed to be avoiding any consequences despite attempts to uninvite them. Links to Ullrich require reading the tea leaves of, "Who is Rudy's son?" and some of the more detailed evidence was for Tyler Hamilton, who's long been gone. So, now, a day before the Tour, we get to see how it all plays out.

VeloNews' headline, Tour in Turmoil is right. Who would have thought that we would see the two biggest favorites suspended by their own teams? The impact on Bjarne Riis, having to personally suspend his own groomed rider, and T-Mobile taking out Ullrich, DS Rudy Pevanage, and Sevilla -- wow. Basso will have a chance to redeem himself later in his career. This was heralded as Ullrich's last shot at restoring his 1997 glory.

As for the picks, predictions, etc... Everything is really up in the air now, huh? It's hard for me to simply shift the standings up because my placement of Landis was based on the belief that his team wouldn't be able to hold onto a top spot. I also have to wonder if any other riders (i.e. Vino, who's team is the most linked to the scandal) will survive to the starting line.

I'm going to continue to juggle Landis, Levi, Valverde, Popo, Azevedo, and Hincapie in my head to see what order those names pop out. Bjarne Riis is a clever enough man that I can see him trying to figure out a way to get Bobby J on that podium for one last hurrah.

related articles: Tour de France 2006


Comments (1)

Jess:

I really like Bobby. He was at the Clarendon Cup a few years ago and was impressive and incredibly humble on the podium. I'm hoping the suspensions are over, but I think a lot is going to change before tomorrow morning.

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