!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!A classic day on the Tour if we just look at the stage, but what a busy day, actually, with the Rasmussen case!
On the road, we have seen a classic stage with an échappée and a peloton which came back strong to end up the stage in a massive sprint, and great work from the Quick Step team to boost Boonen to the finish line first!
The thing I've noticed is that Cancellara decided to step back and relax pretty much 25km before the finish line in order to prepare for his time trial tomorrow. This makes me think that Cancellara is no longer looking for the yellow jersey but simply for stage wins. Tomorrow's fight will surely be between Kloden and Cancellara, so keep an eye on these two fellows.
So, I was saying that it was actually a very busy day for cycling and not only the Tour.
One more time, and I insist, a federation has brought a declaration during the Tour for something that happened weeks
if it's not monthsbefore the Tour. I'm talking about the Rasmussen case.
The Danish federation just showed up from nowhere to complain during the Tour about something that has nothing to do with it. It's like the Sinkewitz case. The German federation would have had a hundred times the time to bring the positive control to the press. Why did they wait so long when a test is made in one week and a "counter-test" takes only a week to be completed?
You may all know that these federations work under the ICU flag...And you may also know that the Tour de France is the ONLY international cycling race today that is not managed by the ICU, but a private company called ASO.
Then it all starts to make sense, and the ICU game is pretty clear and very unfair. The ICU has launched the Pro Tour as you also know and it's obvious that they would love to include the Tour de France in it. But if this happens, it will surely not be with cheap attempts like they are doing through the Danish and German federation. It is honestly ridiculous to act like this.
It's a pure waste of time for us, for cycling and for the riders. I think the event director did good by letting Rasmussen take the start. If federations really wanted to blame their riders, they should do it immediately and not later on unless the ICU is blocking them and forcing them to communicate during the Tour.
The Tour might be the only race that has so much exposure, so it's pretty much during this race that we should all work in the same direction to get a cleaner sport. However, the ICU doesn't think like that and I'm afraid that it looks like they have decided that the Tour will be their battlefield. You can bet on more scandals before the end of the Tour...
Finally, I love to answer your questions, as you know, but this time I would like to have your opinion on that. What do you think about the ICU strategy? How do you feel about all this?
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.