Troubled Tour de France Ends in Contador Victory

July 30, 2007 10:30 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Discovery Channel team cyclist Alberto Contador is the youngest rider in a decade to win the Tour, marking the end of a scandal-ridden race that has raised questions about the state of cycling among organizers, riders, and fans.

30 Second Summary

Twenty-four-year-old Spanish native Alberto Contador won a narrow victory on Sunday July 29 to ride away with cycling’s most coveted prize, the Tour de France’s yellow jersey.

His 23-second lead over Predictor-Lotto’s Cadel Evans was the second-narrowest margin in Tour history. However, the race’s close finish has been overshadowed by stories of doping.

The 94th Tour de France was racked with doping controversies that saw four riders and one team thrown out of the race after failed drug tests and suspicions of avoiding anti-doping officials.

The most notable dismissal was that of Rabobank rider and Tour leader Michael Rasmussen, who, it was discovered, had lied to cycling officials in order to evade surprise drug tests during his training.

Now everyone’s pointing fingers. Organizers of the tour blame the cycling union, known as the UCI, for not being diligent enough with its testing. And younger cyclists blame the older riders’ laissez-faire attitude toward doping for the current mess.

Although doping scandals have pained the Tour de France since the 1920s, the incidents of recent years mark a watershed for the sport. As cycling officials look to the future, they are charged with the difficult task of re-establishing credibility in a sport that has become so fraught with controversy that at least one Olympic official is threatening to remove it from the 2008 games.




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