Tour de France execs snub Lance Armstrong - BikeBiz

Tour de France execs snub Lance Armstrong

The route for the 2006 Tour de France was revealed today, along with the Etape du Tour which finishes on L'Alpe d'Huez. The Tour will visit Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, starting "in the thick of the final of the Football World Cup." ASO, owner of the Tour, said the war against doping - a "ceaseless combat" - would be ramped up. But the co-organisers went out of their way to be rude to the seven times winner of "their" Tour.
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A joint statement from Jean-Marie Leblanc, the departing organiser of the Tour, and his successor, Christian Prudhomme, said:

"As for the mission, it remains the same and it plagues us, constantly, like a knife in the back: to guarantee in the best possible way equal chances for all competitors, which evidently means respecting the rules. In other words, the war against doping. A war that is never entirely won, as we are only too sadly aware. We participate wholly in this ceaseless combat – technically, financially, morally – where it is possible, along with the delegated regulatory authorities.

"We have this time called upon the most distinguished among them, the World Anti-Doping Agency and its Chairman. As we know only too well that in cycling, in sport in general, just as in all human activities, the options are always the same and it is either order or chaos that rules…"

So far, so good. But the joint statement is also a dig against Lance Armstrong and only a lightly veiled referenced to L'Equipe's allegations that the Texan took drugs in the 1991 Tour.

"On the 24th of July we turned the page on a long, very long chapter in the history of the Tour de France," said the statement, referring to Armstrong's final Tour de France victory, his seventh.

But get ready for the dig: "One month later, current events made it clear to us that it was just as well that this was so."

The joint statement believes the Tour is bigger than just one man: "Does this justify closing the entire book and erasing all the emotions that, for so many years, the Tour and its champions have provided us with?"

It's worth noting that L'Equipe is owned by ASO, the company that owns the Tour de France.

STAGES

http://www.letour.fr/.../parcours.html

Prologue - July 1: Strasbourg - individual time trial, 7 km

Stage 1 - July 2: Strasbourg - Strasbourg, 183 km

Stage 2 - July 3: Obernai - Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), 223 km

Stage 3 - July 4: Esch-sur-Alzette - Valkenburg (netherlands), 216 km

Stage 4 - July 5: Huy (Belgium) - Saint-Quentin, 215 km

Stage 5 - July 6: Beauvais - Caen, 219 km

Stage 6 - July 7: Lisieux - Vitré, 184 km

Stage 7 - July 8: Saint-Grégoire - Rennes - individual time trial, 52 km

Stage 8 - July 9: Saint-Méen-le-Grand - Lorient, 177 km

Rest Day - July 10: Bordeaux

Stage 9 - July 11: Bordeaux - Dax, 170 km

Stage 10 - July 12: Cambo-les-Bains - Pau, 193 km

Stage 11 - July 13: Tarbes - Val d'Aran/Pla-de-Beret (Spain), 208 km

Stage 12 - July 14: Luchon - Carcassonne, 211 km

Stage 13 - July 15: Béziers - Montélimar, 231 km

Stage 14 - July 16: Montélimar - Gap, 181 km

Rest Day - July 17: Gap

Stage 15 - July 18: Gap - L'Alpe-d'Huez, 187 km

Stage 16 - July 19: Le Bourg-d'Oisans - La Toussuire, 182 km

Stage 17 - July 20: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Morzine, 199 km

Stage 18 - July 21: Morzine - Mâcon, 193 km

Stage 19 - July 22: Le Creusot - Montceau-les-Mines individual time trial, 56 km

Stage 20 - July 23: Antony (Parc de Sceaux) - Paris Champs-Elysées, 152 km

ETAPE ROUTE:

Gap - L'Alpe d'Huez, 10th July

http://www.letapedutour.com/.../index.htm

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