Vasseur revs up
Those who expected a more robust yellow jersey defence from Fabian Cancellara on stage 7 of the Tour might want to consider whether an article in this morning’s L’Equipe put Spartacus off his game. The former Tour maillot jaune and president of the Professional Cyclist’s Association (CPA), Cédric Vasseur, alleged in the paper today that the UCI had “hidden certain things in the build-up to the Tour”, clearly referring to the recent storm over motorised doping.
“It may seem unfair to discredit Fabian Cancellara with no proof, but his performances and numerous bike changes in the Tour of Flanders are at the centre of a big debate,” Vasseur said. “I was surprised that he didn’t defend himself when the story broke, and that Saxo Bank didn’t open the doors of its service course so that we could see inside the bottom bracket of one of his bikes.”
If that wasn’t enough to make Cancellara choke on his bircher muesli, we don’t know what would be.
Bernaudeau’s alpha mails
Reports in France on Saturday suggest that Bouygues Telecom could be replaced by the French postal service, or “La Poste”, as title sponsors of Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team. Should negotiations be successful, Bernaudeau’s boys would extend a tradition previously upheld by US Postal Service and Post Swiss – and presumably sport yellow-and-blue, La Poste’s corporate colours.
Turning up the heat in Tournus
The first mountain stage of this year’s Tour was made harder by the warmest day of the race so far, with the mercury at the Stage 7 start in Tournus in the low 30s Celsius and rising. With little cloud cover and humidity clammier than a sticky date pudding, Procycling spotted a lady taken off by stretcher at the Village Départ. Seeing that, we hit the Vittel water stand hard to stave off the threat of dehydration.
French or Swiss?
The finish of the seventh stage at Station de Rousses, although technically in France, is more reminiscent of a Swiss Alpine village with its endless rolling verdant fields. Situated in the heart of the Haut Jura Regional National Park, Les Rousses, population 6,300, is a place for the sport-mad: used by French teams to prepare for cross-country skiing events, it is known the world over for the 76-kilometre Transjurassienne cross-country ski race; in summer, you can hike, bike, swim, horse-ride, ice-skate, play golf, canyon and sail.
Fashion police closer than you think…
Saturday morning, Procycling’s Daniel Friebe and Anthony Tan were patiently waiting for their travelling companion, a certain Scottish fellow by the name of Richard Moore, before heading to the start in Tournus. His tardiness was of little surprise, since he claimed to be doing an interview with Radio Scotland – but what was shocking was his attire: Moore was wearing a team-issue Garmin-Transitions T-shirt! Saying it was a dare, Richard nevertheless took off the blasphemous attire and replaced it with something less partial before entering the press room at Station des Rousses.
Moore no Tanman
Moore wasn’t enjoying his best day on the Tour. Earlier on Saturday, on seeing the pasty Scot smother himself in sun lotion, one of the Tour’s parking attendants stifled a giggle. “Factor 50, I bet…”, the wag muttered under his breath.