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Our cover features Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, both controversially ejected from the Tour. The interview with Ullrich was one of his last before the controversy in Strasbourg. We also look back at the stranglehold Basso took on the Giro d'Italia and how it affected his rivals on that great race, particularly 2004 Giro winner Damiano Cunego.
With controversy hard to avoid this month, we also investigate the Operacion Puerto inquiry in Spain in order to dispell some of the myths about the affair and assess where the investigation is likely to lead in the long run. Among those hardest hit by the affair was former Liberty Seguros team leader Alexandre Vinokourov, who found himself unwittingly caught up in the biggest dope scandal since 1998. We trace how the Kazakh attempted to extricate himself and his team from the mess by turning to wealthy backers in his homeland keen to promote Kazakhstan's standing in the world.
This month also sees the publication of Matt Rendell's new book on Marco Pantani, The Death of Marco Pantani. In an extensive extract from the book, Matt traces Pantani's early years, his spectacular exit from the 1999 Giro and the Italian's final tragic demise. Don't miss this gripping or the chance to buy a copy of the book at a reduced rate for procycling readers.
With Lance Armstrong now well into retirement, US fans are looking to a new generation of riders to take up his mantle. Among the most talented and probably the most quirky of them is CSC's Dave Zabriskie, who tells Jonathan Vaughters why he thinks he can be a Tour de France contender.
Another very individual character featured this month is Selle Italia team boss Gianni Savio, with whom we rode during the Giro's biggest mountain stage after his team leader had walked out on him. There's never a dull moment as Savio gives his side of the Rujano story and explains why it's him (and team leader Wladimir Belli) against the world. We're also at the biggest women's tour of the season, the Tour de l'Aude, investigating what makes this family-run race the one they all want to win.
In our regular features, Ellis Bacon takes a Classic Climb over the Glandon and to La Toussuire, the finish of the Tour's toughest mountains stage, Marcel Wst puts Vinokourov's BH set-up under the microscope in bike test, while in our retro feature Les Woodland remembers a great German star who met a mysterious wartime fate. There is also our sideways look at the latest news stories in knowledge, plus columns from Tom Danielson, Frank Hoj and Olivia Gollan.
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PICS BY TDWSPORT.COM