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Tour de France 2007 Shame

Sep 3, 2007
Once upon a time, any cyclist would have been proud to compete in the Tour de France, but with its reputation in tatters after the 2007 race, the cyclists overwhelming desire this year was to get to Paris and then go home. After all the controversy of the race this year, it will take cycling years to recover from the shockwaves.

The Tour de France has long been known in conjunction with just one man; seven-time winner American Lance Armstrong. But more recently, it's also been marred by scandal when a record number of riders were banished this year due to failed drug tests. Favourite Alexander Vinokorouv was among them, along with race leader Michael Rasmussen, who was yanked just four days before the end of the event. With Armstrong retired, punishments handed down for the use of illegal drugs, and rumours running rampant about this year's winner, Alberto Contador, what is the future of the Tour de France?

Some would say the future is bleak. With surveys indicating that fewer people are interested in the Tour than ever before, and a full 71% saying that its reputation can't be saved, it seems as though there needs to be some revamping of the event. Cyclists and fans alike feel that stronger checks need to be put in place to keep this sort of embarrassment from happening in the future. In addition, there is major political unrest between the organizers of the Tour and the International Cycling Union which must be settled, and that seems unlikely. After all, at the heart of the feud is both power and money.

However, those two entities aside, the citizens of Monaco hope the future is bright. On July 7, 2009, the city will play host to a 15.2 kilometre time-trial, after beating Rotterdam and Utrecht, Liege, Lugano, Budapest, Florence and the Basque Country. This will be the first time that Monaco has had the opportunity for the Tour de France to begin in its streets, and it's honoured to be the chosen one.

It seems there might also be a new sweetheart for fans of the Tour: Australian Cadel Evans. Just two weeks after finishing second in the Tour, he won the time trial at the Olympic test event in Bejing. Some think he might be the first to win the Tour and a gold medal all in the same year. In the past, Evans has had a rough time at the Olympics, but based on what he's saying to the press, he feels that his bad luck has taken a turn for the better.

It also looks like, if things keep going the way they are, he might be part of a 2009 Austrailian team with other top Austrailian riders Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady and Michael Rogers. Although nothing has been set in stone as of yet, you can bet that Australians are waiting with bated breath.

One thing's for sure, and that is that nothing is for sure. With things changing for the Tour faster than the Internet can report them, the 2008 race is sure to go through many, many revisions before unveiling a hopefully new and improved face. Next year you can certain be that the Tour will be pushing hard to gain back the confidence of its loyal fans and, maybe even gain a few new ones. With younger riders hitting big times, the draw will certainly be there.
About the Author
A street map of Monte Carlo and Monaco can be found at Monaco travel guide YourMonaco.com

The Monte Carlo guide includes Monte Carlo hotel reviews, including the Hotel de Paris in Casino Square, famous for her roulette and blackjack .

The Monte Carlo guide also has today's weather in Monte Carlo
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