I hate those damn hands and I’ve said so before in my Tour reports. The riders have said for years that they have bruises and scratches from them. They are always concerned about being hit in the face as they race beside the barriers. Photographers hate the green hands because they constantly get in the way of finish line shots.
I see that Alexander Vinikourov has announced that the Kazakh coalition will purchase and run the Astana Wurth Team next year. They will buy the Manolo Saiz-owned Active Bay management company. The 2007 Astana team will be Kazakh licensed. Vino said that Saiz will not be a part of the company and that Saiz should go back to running his little bike shop - that he must leave the world of Pro cycling for good.
Vino says he is distraught over not riding the Tour, and his regret is that he did not take stronger action earlier. He says he will be the DS for the new Kazakh team in two years, so it looks like he plans on retiring after next year. What a tragedy that he cannot compete this year. Vino is a good guy and this shouldn’t have happened to him.
Yesterday, Vino said, "I made a sporting choice coming to Liberty Seguros because I thought it was the best team to help me win the Tour de France. I am distraught with the turn of events. I trained like I have never before for this Tour. Yesterday (Friday) I had my wife on the phone and she couldn't understand how all the family sacrifices I had made would not be compensated for. I spent weeks away from my children to train and I imposed on myself truly draconian conditions in order to be in the best possible position to win the race. But today, here I am at home in Monaco while the prologue has started without me. It was without a doubt my last chance to win the Tour - and it's been stolen from me."
I know this is gonna open a can of worms, but I’ll say it anyway. Here we have David Millar, confessed (after first lying) and convicted doper, riding the Tour this year. And Virenque, confessed (after first lying) and convicted, who works with the Tour as a broadcaster and is prominent in all the Village Departs, signing autographs, and very welcome into the ASO company. So, we are gonna see both Millar and Virenque very prominently at the Tour. And then we have somebody like Vino, a potential Podium winner, and in no way implicated in the Spanish Inquisition, who gets the shaft because so many of his team mates are “under investigation” that he can’t get enough guys for a team. The whole thing is so screwed up and unfair.