July 05, 2007
Riis, Stanga will skip Tour
After Tour director Christian Prudhomme said Riis was unwelcome at the Tour, the team's sponsors voiced their support for the 1996 Tour winner, but today Riis said he couldn't face the Tour right now:
“The recent times have been hard on me privately and I must now honestly admit that I do not have the power to face a three-week long and hectic Tour de France.”
It's Riis' honest admissions that got him here: He admitted back in May that he used EPO through much of his career, including when he won the 1996 Tour de France. In his interview with Der Spiegel, Jörg Jaksche, who rode with Riis at Telekom and for Riis at CSC for a season, said he doped with Riis' knowledge while racing for CSC.
Team Milram director Gianluigi Stanga, who was Jaksche's director at Polti in 1997, will also skip the Tour.
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I will not miss Riis in this Tour, but I really wonder how they can force him to skip the Tour, when there a lot of other winners who were doped when they rode the Tour.
Posted by: Jesper at Jul 6, 2007 7:40:41 AM
more bad press about the tour and it seems even the US press is picking up on the theory that if everyone else was doping then Lance must have been too:
Washington Post | Big Hill to Climb for Tour de France.
Posted by: chris at Jul 6, 2007 9:38:35 AM
Jesper -- exactly. And what about Zabel? He's admitted to using EPO while racing alongside Riis, including during the 1996 Tour, where he won 2 stages, and he's not only going to be there, but RACING.
If you let Zabel ride based on an 8-year statute of limitations, then you have to forgive Riis for his 1996 win, as well.
Posted by: TdFblog's Frank at Jul 6, 2007 10:01:37 AM
I don't really care who dopes. It's still a awesome sport. I've been waiting for the tour to start all year.
Posted by: Blayer Pointdujour at Jul 6, 2007 11:18:54 AM