Armstrong expected to race the Giro, Tour de France uncertain
According to the organizers of the Giro d’Italia, Astana’s Lance Armstrong will be participating in the race on May 9th. Surprisingly, the twittering phenom hasn’t raced the Giro in his career, so this could be an interesting showing. It’s doubtful he’ll actually go for the win, but it will could help with training for the Tour de France.
The big question is if the organizers of the Tour de France will let Armstrong race. According to the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD), Armstrong took a shower prior to taking a test when they arrived at the door.
“The French are not acting very professionally in this case,” he said, apparently unaware that the French anti-doping agency and the French sporting press are like an old married couple; they have no secrets from each other.
I have this sick feeling that they actually won’t let him ride. If that does happen, it will be a pretty big letdown for a lot of cycling fans from around the world. Not only that, but they’ll actually be hurting their ratings and sponsors, at least from the United States (although, I’m not sure how great the ratings are for the Tour here).
I think they should step back, and just realize that Lance hasn’t failed a drug test in his long, and successful career, so they should at least give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Taking a step back, and ignoring the fact that it is Lance Armstrong, one almost has to give the AFLD credit for taking a hard stance on a potential doping incident. Cycling has had an incredibly bad rap lately due to the number of cyclists getting caught. If this was anyone other than Lance, they likely wouldn’t have had as many people defending them. Especially if it was a cyclist with a prior doping offense.
Based on Lance’s jovial attitude on his twitter feeds, he doesn’t seem too worried that he won’t get to ride in the Tour. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.