!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!Where should I start? Lots of things have happened today on the race and in the backstage. Let’s start with the race...
Today was a classic transition stage where leaders could have a rest. Usually, you only have two scenarios possible. The first one is a big ending in a final mass sprint, and the second one, the one we had, is a serious echappée that ends up by making it till the end.
So, what you have to look at during these stages is the strategy of the leaders. How they manage their efforts and how they stick in the peloton to stay high in the rankings. Tomorrow will be pretty much the same thing I guess, so pay attention to leaders and how they manage the Tour. This is where you start wining the Tour actually.
Let’s go backstage now with an incredible fight (verbal one, of course) between Laurent Fignon and Christohpe Moreau just a few minutes ago. Everybody knows Laurent Fignon, the great athlete, but Laurent is also now working as a TV consultant for a French television and Laurent is used to saying what he thinks, if you know what I mean. So after the Tignes stage in the Alps, Laurent said clearly that Moreau got very stupid on that stage by launching lots of offensives without really putting what it takes to make benefit out of one (at least). Two days later Moreau heard that and when he saw Fignon this evening, he basically explained him that he should no longer talk about a sport that he had left quite some time ago now. Honestly, Moreau was not in a great position as you could feel that everybody was behind Fignon. Everybody has a huge respect for Laurent when we are still waiting from Moreau to confirm at the highest level, if you know what I mean. So it was interesting to see how Moreau could get on fire for what was the simple truth: he had not played his Tignes stage smartly. Team managers are not doing their jobs or are we getting into a cycling star system where you can’t tell an athlete when he is wrong?
The second today’s hot news is about Sinkewitz. You all know about his bike crash by now, but guess what? He has been tested positive for testosterone today...and this is not just that bad, it’s actually even worse.
The German TV that is broadcasting the Tour has decided to cancel the broadcast for today--so no show in Germany today, as well as tomorrow, and we don’t know yet about the day after tomorrow. They told the Tour that if any young rider was controlled positive during the Tour, they would cancel the show.
The problem here is that the control was made on June 4th (during a training in the Pyrénées) so pretty much a month and half ago, so it’s not fair for the Tour to be impacted by this control.
It’s a BIG shame that no one has been able to bring this test to the attention of the Tour before the Tour starts. If it happened before the Tour, it would have been a sad news but with the Tour starting we would have focused on the race and moved to something else. Everybody is talking about that here, and I’m betting that in two weeks, we will still be talking about it.
So, I’m very sad today for the sports of cycling. You all know that this sport relies on private partners and that these partners sponsor the cycling because you get an incredible ROI as you get on the air for hours for a very cheap price. So, if tomorrow for management problems and organisation problems the Tour has to stop because there is no more TV which wants to get into a “dirty” sport, then it’s the end of cycling...and I’m sure no one wants that.
So I don’t know what went wrong but it really is time to focus on the organisations that are ruling cycling or it’s just going to be the end of cycling. The upcoming days are very important and I’m not talking about the race here.
Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events , an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.