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Column: Important not to let Armstrong ruin Tour again (The Associated Press)
July 21, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
In his biography, Chris Froome recounts how his two elder brothers used to amuse themselves by locking him in a dog kennel with an angry, scratching turkey. ''Only when I was in absolute floods of tears would they open the cage up and let me out,'' the Tour de France race leader recounts. Froome has needed that armor against cynics and skeptics pecking at his probity and performances on the bike as the 2013 winner cruises toward a second win at the world's toughest cycle race. More...
Froome calls out 'irresponsible' Tour de France reporting
July 19, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
What should have been a successful day on the lumpy transitional stage 14 from Rodez to Mende for Team Sky and the Tour de France maillot jaune Chris Froome was anything but. The overall race leader was hit with a cup of urine that was thrown by a spectator early in the stage. "I saw the guy appear on a drag with 50-60km to go," Froome said of the incident. "I had teammates around me. I was boxed in a little bit on left. I saw a guy peering around and I thought, 'That looks strange.' He launched a cup at me and said 'dope.' No mistake, it was urine." In his post race press conference for the written press, Froome began by offering his congratulations to Steve Cummings of MTN-Qhubeka for his stage win on Mandela Day without any prompt from the press. Felicitations turned to umbrage for how particular sections of the press have created an atmosphere of suspicion surrounding the performance of Froome and Team Sky at the Tour. "I certainly wouldn't blame the public for this. It really is the minority of the people out there ruining it for everyone else out here," Froome said. "But I would blame some of the reporting on the race that has been very irresponsible. Having said that, those individuals know who they are." When quizzed on who was responsible for setting the nefarious tone, Froome was unwilling to point fingers, offering instead to reiterate such examples were unprofessional and perilous. "Those individuals know who they are. I am not going into specifics details here but those people know who they are and have been extremely irresponsible on the way they have reported on the race," he said, insinuating the reporting had contributed to the spectators' actions. "It's no longer the riders bringing the sport into disrespect now, it's the individuals, and they know who they are." Froome's wife, Michelle, made a brief return to Twitter after the stage to provide the specifics the press were after, disappearing as quickly as she had resurfaced. "@JalabertLaurent @cedvasseur @lequipe @festinaboy @scienceofsport I hope you're paying attention. Ignorant, irresponsible fools," Michelle Froome tweeted. The reporting by some of the French press have included allegations of mechanical doping from Cedric Vassuer on live French television and videos released by Antoine Vayer that overlay data onto Froome's ride up Mont Ventoux in 2013 and during stage 16 of last year's Vuelta a Espaa to La Farrapona. Froome was not casting aspersions upon the entire pressroom in his comments, clarifying the majority of reporting has remained on message, covering cyclists and their daily feats on their bicycles. "It's not all the media, a lot of reporting has been fantastic. It has been about the race as it should be," he said. "But obviously since my victory a few days ago and the way the team has been, I think there has been a lot very of irresponsible reporting out here. That's unacceptable also. "I can't speak for everyone in the peloton. I certainly know myself, I am clean, I know what I've done to get here. Of course it's disappointing," he said. "What can we do? I feel from a rider's point of view, we are doing the right thing. We are trying to speak up in clean cycling, trying to change that image. Unfortunately, due to some of that reporting being so irresponsible, that negative image is still being portrayed to the public." Michael Rasmussen, who was sacked by his Rabobank team while wearing the yellow jersey at the 2007 Tour de France, arrived at the race this morning in his new role as a journalist for Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. Disgraced former seven time winner Lance Armstrong returned to the Tour - albeit one day head of the race - this week as well to take part in a part in Geoff Thomas' charity ride. The presence of the two admitted dopers, along with several ex-professionals who admitted to cheating in their careers at the Tour has fed the flame of suspicion and contributed to the rationale for those singled out by Michelle Froome to produce their copy. Froome has repeatedly stated that as the first winner of the Tour post-USADA's reasoned decision that exposed Armstrong, he is willing to do whatever it takes to get cycling back on a credible path. However, the 2013 Tour champion has become exasperated with the daily commits that accompany the maillot jaune and the repeated questions of whether he is a clean cyclist. "If this is part of the process that we have to go through to get the sport into a better place, I am here, I am doing it. I am not going to give up the race because a few guys are shouting insults at whatever or me," he said. "Unfortunately, this is the legacy that's been handed us by people before us with people who have won the Tour only to disappoint fans a few years later. That's an unfortunate position we are in." In 2013 Mark Cavendish was also the victim of an urine attack, while in 2012 tacks where placed on the road in an attempt of sabotage. Oscar Freire and Julian Dean where shot at and hit by air rifle pellets in 2009.ADVERTISEMENT With fans able to reach out and touch cyclists at almost any point on the road, the security of riders is constantly in question, but Froome was unequivocal in his response when asked if the behaviour of some fans frightened him? "I am not scared about this. I just hope it doesn't interfere with racing. That's why we are all here, to race bikes at end of the day. I hope this doesn't interfere with how the race pans out at all. I am extremely focused on my job that I'm here to do. I am not going to let anything throw me off this year." Buried by the urine attack and Froome's rebuttal of 'irresponsible reporting' was his sporting element during the stage, which ended with the Sky captain taking further time on his rivals. His closest challenger, Nairo Quinanta, sits 3:10 in arrears. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Eight years on, Michael Rasmussen returns to Tour de France as journalist
July 19, 2015 (06:30) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
It was mere coincidence, perhaps, but it was hardly appreciated behind the darkened glass above that a small media scrum arrested Michael Rasmussen just as he was passing the Team Sky bus ahead of stage 14 of the Tour de France in Rodez. Rasmussen returned to the race on Saturday for the first time since he was excluded from the 2007 Tour while wearing the yellow jersey, after the furore surrounding his missed doping controls in the build-up finally proved too much even for his Rabobank team.ADVERTISEMENT Following a two-year ban, Rasmussen made a low-key comeback with the Miche and Christina Watches Continental teams but was deemed persona non grata by squads at higher levels. Since confessing to doping in 2013, Rasmussen has set about building a new career for himself as a columnist. While Lance Armstrongs controversial return to the Tour was limited to taking part in Geoff Thomas charity ride a day ahead of the race caravan, Rasmussen will cover the remainder of this Tour from the press room for Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. Scarcely carrying a gram of fat more than during his time at CSC and Rabobank, the shaven-headed Rasmussen remains a distinctive figure, drawing plenty of double takes when he entered the village dpart followed by a Danish television crew. Its a little intense right now, he smiled. But I imagine it will taper off over a few days. I wont seem quite as interesting and I can do my job. Rasmussen spent his stint in the yellow jersey attempting to fend off the suspicions over his performances and his attempts to evade testing, and conversation inevitably turned to the current maillot jaune, Chris Froome (Sky), and the scrutiny that he has faced in recent days. For sure hes very focused on the weight and that certainly makes a difference, but I dont know how he is training and I would rather not speculate on it, Rasmussen said asked to draw comparisons between his and Froomes ability to glean so much power from such lean physiques. Its been a long time since Ive been competing at that level. I did it in another way and that was not quite according to the rules. I do not want to speculate on how he does it. I think hes training shitloads to ride as fast as he does. I think all the yellow jerseys did. Ramussen blamed the weight of history for the innuendo that has greeted Froomes performances, pointing to an inconvenient truth by noted wryly that doping on the Tour pre-existed the blood doping era when asked if he felt that his generation had poisoned the well for the current crop. Yeah, I did. Or Eddy Merckx did, or Fausto Coppi did. Like I said before theres a long history of doping in cycling and unfortunately thats a heritage the cyclists today have to deal with it. It takes time to change a culture, he said. From the history of cycling, doping has been around all the time in cycling and unfortunately when people ride the way Froome does, people instantly speculate just because the only thing you have to do is look in the history books and see who has been cheating in the past to get the yellow jersey. Rasmussen went on to add that he had sympathy for the position Froome finds himself in. Its sad that theres so much focus and speculation because theres no smoking gun. Hes saying the right thing, he said. I think hes actually very much at ease. If he knows hes clean then he has nothing to fear.Asking the question At the 2007 Tour, of course, Rasmussen had nine post-stage press conferences in the yellow jersey, and never conceded so much as an inch in that period. He gently dismissed the idea that the repeated blunt denials had been as difficult as the initial act of doping. If you accept the condition that once you answer the question honestly, your cycling career is over, then its a stupid question to ask, Rasmussen said. Ive never heard any rider so far say Yes to the rolling camera while hes racing in his active career, so its not really the answer thats wrong but the question. It doesnt change peoples opinion whether you ask the question or not. Its a useless question. Rasmussen is now, of course, on the other side of the fence, though he seemed at a loss as to what questions should instead be asked of suspect riders. I dont know, I dont have the answer to that, he said. But that question is definitely dumb because you know the answer. In the aftermath of his exclusion from the 2007 Tour, Rasmussen complained that he had been made a scapegoat for cyclings ills, and continued to dope on his return to racing in 2010, though his 2013 confession provided important evidence for the Danish Anti-Doping Agencys recent inquiry on cycling in his home country. Despite his assertion that there has been a change in mentality in the peloton " Its a cleaner peloton now than it was ten years ago, he said " Rasmussen admitted that he had no regrets about the path he followed during his own career. I do not regret that I took doping if thats what youre asking, Rasmussen said. I think that was a condition in order to be competitive and battling for what I was battling for in those times. I was pursuing victory in the Tour de France since I was 8 years old. If I had to stop that pursuit, I would have stopped it ten years before. I did what I felt I needed to do in order to be competitive, to achieve the goals. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Armstrong return for charity casts shadow on Tour de France (The Associated Press)
July 18, 2015 (05:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
The fields rolled by, the dark glasses were again on his nose, and he was back riding in France. The few autograph-seekers or roadside onlookers who came to see Armstrong ride the Tour de France route for charity was a testament that the 43-year-old Texan is far less the draw he once was before his seven Tour de France titles were stripped for doping. More...
Armstrong return for charity casts shadow on Tour de France (The Associated Press)
July 17, 2015 (18:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
The Tour de France is on in southern France. With the Tour still trying to emerge from the shadow of his doping-rife era, when he won seven Tours then was stripped of the titles, Armstrong's presence was welcomed by some in the peloton, but openly criticized by more, particularly for taking the spotlight away from the race. More...
Armstrong, a shadow of his former self, casts shadow on Tour
July 17, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
RODEZ, France (AP) " The Tour de France is on in southern France. So is the Tour de Lance.That long-used play on words doesn't mean what it used to, though it still applies, because Lance Armstrong rode the Tour de France route... More...
Lance Armstrong back riding on French roads
July 17, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
It was like old times this morning outside Lance Armstrongs team bus on stage 13 of the Tour de France, albeit a day ahead of the race proper, and more so for the assembled journalists and photographers than Armstrong himself. Rather tentatively, Armstrong walked down the steps of the Le Tour One Day Ahead coach and into the sunlight at eight o clock sharp. A sometimes unruly swarm of around 50 reporters had gathered to meet him in the carpark of a Leader Price supermarket in sleepy, unsuspecting Vernet, a few hundred metres from where the Tour peloton will begin its 198.5km journey to Rodez tomorrow. The locals had apparently stayed in bed. The first question came immediately: Lance, how is it to be in France?ADVERTISEMENT Its nice to be back, yeah, Armstrong replied, smiling. It was then put to him that many who are following and riding the Tour itself have taken a dim view of his participation in former footballer Geoff Thomass charity ride, which aims to raise a million pounds for CureLeukemia. I understand peoples reactions, Armstrong said. I understand there are still some hurt feelings and thats a process Ill walk through for a long, long time. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Lance Armstrong makes controversial Tour de France return
July 17, 2015 (00:30) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Like an unwanted ghost, Lance Armstrong has returned to the fringes of the Tour de France on a money-raising ride ahead of the showcase race he once ruled.The American, stripped of his seven Tour victories for doping, set off last... More...
Armstrong makes low key return to Tour for charity (Reuters)
July 16, 2015 (17:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Anthony Paone VENERQUE, France (Reuters) - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong made a low key return to the Tour de France on Thursday when the American cancer survivor set off on a charity ride that follows the route of this year's race. Dozens of journalists were in attendance at a supermarket car park in southern France ahead of the 43-year-old's ride to Rodez, but no fans were there to greet the Texan. Armstrong, who was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping following years of denials, is taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' charity event. More...
Cycling-Armstrong makes low key return to Tour for charity (Reuters)
July 16, 2015 (12:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Anthony Paone VENERQUE, France, July 16 (Reuters) - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong made a low key return to the Tour de France on Thursday when the American cancer survivor set off on a charity ride that follows the route of this year's race. Dozens of journalists were in attendance at a supermarket car park in southern France ahead of the 43-year-old's ride to Rodez, but no fans were there to greet the Texan. Armstrong, who was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping following years of denials, is taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' charity event. More...
The Latest: Armstrong returns to fringe of Tour de France (The Associated Press)
July 16, 2015 (12:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) -- LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) - The latest from the 12th stage of the Tour de France (all times local). More...
Cycling-Armstrong makes low key return to Tour for charity (Reuters)
July 16, 2015 (10:45) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Anthony Paone VENERQUE, France, July 16 (Reuters) - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong made a low key return to the Tour de France on Thursday when the American cancer survivor set off on a charity ride that follows the route of this year's race. Dozens of journalists were in attendance at a supermarket car park in southern France ahead of the 43-year-old's ride to Rodez, but no fans were there to greet the Texan. Armstrong, who was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping following years of denials, is taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' charity event. More...
The Latest: Armstrong returns to fringe of Tour de France
July 16, 2015 (10:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) " LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) " The latest from the 12th stage of the Tour de France (all times local).___9.30 a.m.Like an unwanted ghost, Lance Armstrong has returned to the fringes of the Tour de France... More...
The Latest: Armstrong returns to fringe of Tour de France (The Associated Press)
July 16, 2015 (10:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) -- LANNEMEZAN, France (AP) - The latest from the 12th stage of the Tour de France (all times local). More...
Cycling-Armstrong on Tour de France route a non-event, says Froome (Reuters)
July 16, 2015 (07:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot CAUTERETS, France, July 15 (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong's controversial presence on the route of the Tour de France as part of a charity ride is a non-event, yellow jersey holder Chris Froome said on Wednesday. Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles after admitting to doping following years of denial and bullying of those who confronted him, is taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' operation. The American will join former England footballer Thomas and a team of amateurs, who are aiming to raise one million pounds ($1.57 million) for Cure Leukaemia, by cycling in two stages a day before the official peloton goes through. More...
Team Sky faces scrutiny for employing former US Postal soigneur
July 16, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Team Sky came under further scrutiny today at the Tour de France after The Telegraph reported a former US Postal Service soigneur is currently on their staff. Peter Verbeken, who worked with Sky as a carer for two seasons and now manages the teams service course in Belgium, worked with Lance Armstrongs US Postal Service team for at least six months in 1999, according to The Telegraph, which also reported that sources suggest Verbeken could have been employed with US Postal for two seasons. Verbeken worked on a freelance basis with US Postal in 1999, according to The Telegraph, joining the team at a number of races,including Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. He joined Team Sky from HTC-Highroad in 2012.ADVERTISEMENT Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford told The Telegraph there was no suggestion Verbeken had done anything wrong, and that Verbeken had gone through our recruitment process like everybody else. Although there is no evidence to suggest Verbeken was involved with US Postals doping programme,The Telegraph argued that Skys zero-tolerance policy should make them ultra cautious about employing a person linked with the US Postal team, and Verbekens employment called into questions Skys recruitment process. A Team Sky spokesperson defended the teams zero-tolerance policy and recruitment, however, telling The Telegraph Sky have taken a leadership position on anti-doping since their inception. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Lance Armstrong: Tour de France doping questions about Froome are my fault
July 16, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Lance Armstrong took some of the blame for the doping accusations levelled recently against Tour de France winner Chris Froome, saying in an interview with Sky Sports News HQ that he can empathise with riders having to answer questions about doping during the middle of the Tour. "I know what that is like for a guy like Chris to be in the middle of the Tour, to deal with the constant questions, which of course he is, and to be fair and to be honest, a lot of that is my fault, Armstrong said in the interview, which took place ahead of his participation in a charity ride along the Tour route on Thursday and Friday. "A lot of people ask those questions, they see his style, they see his performance, they see the time gaps, they see the cadence and they think, 'This guy is just another one of them, Armstrong said."I feel bad about that. Whoever is winning the Tour de France in 2015 should not be answering questions about someone who won it 10 or 15 years ago. That's just not legitimate. Thats just not fair."ADVERTISEMENT Froome was the subject of doping allegations following the release of leaked power data from his 2013 Tour de France win and his race-shattering ride during stage 10. For his own part, Froome dismissed Armstrongs participation at the charity ride, which benefits cancer research, as a non-event, sayingArmstrongs participation in the charity ride had nothing to do with the Tour de France. Hes not on the start line of the Tour de France or anything like that," Froome said. Armstrong had previously raised some internet hackles with a post on Twitterfollowing Froomes stage 10 ride, writing, Clearly Froome/Porte/Sky are very strong. Too strong to be clean? Don't ask me, I have no clue." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Froome dismisses Lance Armstrongs return to France for charity ride, Thomas more critical
July 16, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froome (Team Sky) has dismissed Lance Armstrongs presence in France to ride stages of the Tour de France a day before the race as a non-event, with his teammate Geraint Thomas even more critical, suggesting that the riders in the current peloton are paying the price for the damage Armstrong did to the sport in the past. Armstrong will team up with cancer survivor and British professional soccer player Geoff Thomas on Thursday and Friday to ride stages 13 and 14 of the Tour de France with other volunteers. The ride will be the closest Armstrong has come to the Tour de France since his seven Tour de France victories were eradicated from the record books after the detailed USADA doping investigationexposed years of doping. Thomas is convinced Armstrong has a right to return to France during the Tour de France and can play a role in raising funds to help fight cancer. His critics, including UCI president Brian Cookson, are not convinced. It is undesirable, Cookson said. "I think it is disrespectful. I think there are plenty of ways of raising money for charity that Lance could do."ADVERTISEMENT Armstrong is hoping for forgiveness and warm welcome in France, but Froome and Thomas made their thoughts on his return to France very clear. Hes not back at the Tour," Froome pointed out. "Hes not on the start line of the Tour de France or anything like that." What he's actually doing is helping Geoff Thomas' cause to raise money for blood cancer research. As Ive said, I support his (Geoff Thomas) cause. Its a cause very close to my heart. I wish Geoff Thomas and the guys all the best in raising as much money as they can. As with Lance, as I said, hes not on the start line with us. Its a non-event for us. Geraint Thomas is always often more open and direct than his team leader and insisted he couldnt care about Armstrong. I couldnt care less what hes doing, the Welshman said as he warmed down on the rollers after helping Froome defend the yellow jersey during stage 11 to Cauterets. Hes done enough harm. Were playing the price for the damage hes done. Whatever. Were just in our own little world having a laugh here at the Tour, doing what were doing. Lance and all them, they can do whatever they want. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cycling-Armstrong on Tour de France route a non-event, says Froome (Reuters)
July 15, 2015 (20:15) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
By Julien Pretot CAUTERETS, France, July 15 (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong's controversial presence on the route of the Tour de France as part of a charity ride is a non-event, yellow jersey holder Chris Froome said on Wednesday. Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles after admitting to doping following years of denial and bullying of those who confronted him, is taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' operation. The American will join former England footballer Thomas and a team of amateurs, who are aiming to raise one million pounds ($1.57 million) for Cure Leukaemia, by cycling in two stages a day before the official peloton goes through. More...
Lance Armstrong, Markel Irizar and others react to Basso cancer news
July 14, 2015 (06:15) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ivan Basso hasn't been short of well wishers since he announced that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in a rest-day press conference at the Tour de France on Monday. The 37-year-old had felt a pain in his left testicle ever sincea minor crash on stage 5 and after examination from the Tinkoff-Saxo medical staff and x-rays in the Tours mobile radiology unit, hospital tests in Pau on Monday morning confirmed he had a cancerous lump. He has left the race as he begins his recovery. Lance Armstrong was one of many to take to Twitter to voice support for Basso. The American himself suffered from testicular cancer in the late 1990s before recovering and making a successful return to cycling.ADVERTISEMENT Thinking about @ivanbasso and wishing him the very best as he embarks on his cancer journey. #IvanSTRONG!! " Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) July 13, 2015 He was joined by another cyclist who has suffered from testicular cancer in the past, Markel Irizar. The 35-year-old Spaniard, who is currently at the Tour with Trek Factory Racing, fell ill back in 2002 before making a full recovery. All the best to @ivanbasso ! You will get recovered as I did 13 years ago! #fight " Markel Irizar (@Markelirizar) July 13, 2015 " Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) July 13, 2015 " Oleg Tinkov (@olegtinkov) July 13, 2015 " Michael Rogers (@mickrogers) July 13, 2015 " Jens Voigt (@thejensie) July 13, 2015 " Astana Pro Team (@AstanaTeam) July 13, 2015 " Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) July 13, 2015 " Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) July 13, 2015 " stefano feltrin (@stefelt) July 13, 2015 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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