Oh the drama that was the 2007 Tour de France. We witnessed epic battles in the mountains before the whole race came crashing down due to doping scandals, despite the promise of paying a year’s salary to the International Cycling Union by any perpetrators of the organizer’s rigorous anti-doping campaign.
Indeed, it made for sensational headlines, but there was so much ‘splaining to do to those outside the sport. In short, bicycle racing, and the Tour, became a laughing stock, so much so that Tour organizers Amaury Sports Ogranization (ASO) decided not to invite defending champion Alberto Contador and his Astana team, lead by long-time Lance Armstrong director Johan Bruyneel.
Pretty quiet on the doping front in 2008
But, as we wrap up the first week of the 2008 Tour, entrepid Procycling journalist Daniel Friebe has noticed something in France: no mention of doping, not even in small circles before or after the race. What we’ve witnessed is good old-fashioned bike racing, in what many consider to be the most popular sporting event on the planet.