Tour de France

  laurie53 09:21 26 Jul 2007

Am I alone in thinking that as a "sporting" competition the Tour has descended into farce?

  wee eddie 09:30 26 Jul 2007

to succeed, has become unacceptable.

Part of the problem is that it is the pinnacle of the Racing Season and that there are no other competitions of this stature.

A more effective way of dealing with the problem would be to disqualify any Sponsor that had a Member, of it's Team, caught taking banned Drugs."

  QuizMan 12:53 26 Jul 2007

Cycling is the ultimate sporting endurance test, with the Tour de France being its pinnacle. Riders are cycling for 6 hours a day over a 3 week period with only 2 rest days and a couple of shorter time trials. How anyone can achieve this without drugs is quite extraordinary. Those that stay "clean" have my undying admiration and deserve the success and wealth that it brings. I am actually encouraged that cycling is finally getting their act together and sifting out the cheats as drug testing improves. It's not a farce, but it's a poor advert for the sport.

Cycling will recover. The teams have a great responsiblity to keep their riders legal. This year is different in that whole teams are "being asked to withdraw" for the indescretions of one of their team. This should help to focus their minds. I hope it works.

  Stuartli 13:46 26 Jul 2007

You could say the same about very many sports - as fast as new drugs can be successfully traced as being used by competitors, another one turns up.

The drugs scene is rife and it's not the only means of boosting personal performance available.

  sunny staines 16:04 26 Jul 2007

to win the race you have to finish without being in a team that is disqualified, avoid crashing and stomach bugs [always get a few pull out with this i wonder if their bottle goes re possible drug testing and they use stomach bugs to pull out]. the way its going this year last man standing will be the winner.

so many great names have been caught using drugs a big disappointment and let down. always watch tour of france and spain on eurosport each year.

  Diemmess 16:27 26 Jul 2007

A brief copy from my then 20 year old uncle based in Dieppe HQ June29th 1919 while still in the Army. He wrote frequent letters home and this is a tiny part of one, describing the race through Dieppe


Besides, all stops for punctures etc knock time off and some would be sure to have bad luck.
They looked very picturesque and weird objects, I wish you could have seen them.
Picture a young man of a “swarthy complexion” dressed in a red and green singlet, white shorts, socks and little shoes; a white soft cap with enormous peak and a pair of goggles, covered with road dust, and streaming with sweat in the scorching sun. Picture him on a flimsy little skeleton hardly a bicycle, the wheels look so narrow and the frame so thin, with handlebars curving right down; if you can imagine this object flashing in to view round a corner and passing you all legs and dust before you can quite see what it is you will have an idea what they looked like.

There was a ‘control’ or ‘check’ in the Place de la Barre, where two men were on duty. As each man reached here he rode up to the table where the two officials had a big sheet spread out and seizing a pencil wrote his name in the little space on the sheet which corresponded with the number he wore on his back.
Most of them did not dismount merely stick out a leg, wrote their name and without any pause dashed off again.

No one is allowed to give them any help, not even a drink except at the end of a day’s journey, anything a man wants during the day he has to get for himself.
I wished I could go round with them, in a car of course, not on a bike, they will see some very varied scenery in their travels.
I had a French paper with a the list of competitors in and as each man came through I was able to pick out his name and address.
There were Spaniards and Italians, Swiss and Belgians, Dutchmen etc besides the French but not a single Britisher or American. I shall watch the paper to see how they get on.

  laurie53 19:26 26 Jul 2007

The trouble now, of course, is that even a "clean" winner will be suspected of having found a drug that can't be traced.

  HighTower 17:15 27 Jul 2007

I really feel it for the innocents who've been caught up in it like our own Bradley Wiggins. The model clean competitor who is now out because of the doping doings of a team member - it's truly awful for him and others like him. But at least the dopers are now getting caught.

There's quite a good article on the BBC site which asks "Is the tour getting too hard?". How these guys do it is beyond me. I'm in a cycling race team myself and I've done rides of up to 300km, but the following days I haven't even looked at a bike let alone ride one.

These guys do these extraordianry feats of endurance every day for three weeks (even over their rest days so their bodies don't start to slow down). The routes though seem to get longer and more difficult each year, with particularly savage Alps and Pyreneean stages this year.

Combine this with the already mentioned point that the Tour is the pinnacle of the cycling calendar and you have a pretty good incentive for the more dishonest characters in the Peleton to not play by the rules.

On the bright side though, it surely can't get any worse, can it?

  crosstrainer 17:20 27 Jul 2007

That when large amounts of money are introduced into any sport, then the greed takes over.

A million pound contract, a quack with a quick fix drug based at all cost's


let them all kill themselves young with the drugs and blood transfusions


Give it a rest for a couple of years to tidy it up.

I am 51 years old, do not take drugs, and can still ride my mountain bike 50 miles 3 days a week.


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