The Week That Was...
Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.
of last year would be a strong performance. Anything else is super or even phenomenal.
After strong performances throughout the early season and spring, the hopes of Team CSC and Director Bjarne Riis, rest firmly on the shoulders of Italian Ivan Basso. ?I?ve raced a lot this spring but all the time I?ve focused on the Tour de France. I can feel that I?m in a better shape now compared to the same time last year and everything is going to plan.?
Unfortunately, as some riders hone their preparation, others are forced to withdraw from the race. Man of the spring, Italian Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), has withdrawn to focus on the Olympic games and also the end of season World Cup events. After finishing third in last year?s event, Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov crashed heavily in Sunday?s stage of the Tour du Suisse. Team spokesperson, Olaf Ludwig, later confirmed that the rider had torn ligaments in his right shoulder and was scheduled to undergo surgery and would be off the bike for three weeks, missing the Tour but hopefully returning in time for the Olympic Games. This must surely have come as a massive blow for Jan Ullrich and his T-Mobile team who relied so heavily last year on Vinokourov attacking Armstrong and his US Postal team at any given opportunity.
Finally, Lance Armstrong has instructed his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against the Sunday Times Chief Sports Columnist, David Walsh, and former l?Equipe writer, Pierre Ballester, amid the publishing of their new book, L.A. Confidential: The secrets of Lance Armstrong. The book challenges Armstrong?s reputation and again raises the question of whether or not the American has used performance-enhancing drugs. A statement from his lawyers read, ?Lance Armstrong has reacted with concern and dismay at the false allegations made by David Walsh, Chief Sports writer of the Sunday Times.? The book is due to be published this week at a secret location known only to the publisher and their lawyers. Armstrong?s lawyers hope to prevent this from happening as they begin libel action against Walsh, Ballester, their publishers and L?Express, the French newspaper that has printed extracts from the book this last week.
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Till next week,
Please note that the statements and views expressed in this article are those of the authors