Saturday, July 19, 2008

Insult to France

I was an increasing fan of the Tour de France the last 5 or so years. I was getting to know the top riders and even the teams. But the pervasive doping caused me to lose all interest in the middle of the 2007 tour. I was even watching it on TV every day and I can easily go a month without watching. Don't blame the French. Indeed have compassion for them. Their biggest sporting event is being ruined by foreigners. I don't recall any French rider being caught in drug scandal; they don't dare embarrass their own country. During the 2007 Tour one start was held up by riders protesting the doping. I thought it was dumb at the time. But later I realized the doping is the French against the world, as we see. I gave up in disgust when during the same week the race leader, Michael Rasmussen of Denmark, a respected rider, and my favorite Vinokourov of Khazahstan were tossed. I quit watching. This year it continues: Riccardo Ricco of Italy, the race leader having won two stages, was kicked out. Manuel Beltran of Spain was sent home on July 11. Again, note that none of the offenders are French. Feel for the French. It's hard for me also even though I have enjoyed 22 interesting days there from Paris to Chamonix to Marseille and Toulouse to the Cote Vermeille.

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