Monday, September 29, 2008
You may have noticed that this year's Tour de France was missing something. Like, for example, all of the top riders. However, ESPN reports that the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the organizers of the most famous cycling races, the Tour de France, the Giro D'Italia and the Vuelta a Espagne, have reached an agreement that will permit coordination of the various bodies that seek to govern professional cycling.
The parties have been feuding since UCI established its pro tour series in 2004. This year, the Tour de France's organizers fell out with the UCI, with disputes centering on controls over doping and authority to invite various cycling teams to enter the race. As reported in bikeradar.com, The Tour organizers excluded from the race the Astana team of defending champion, Alberto Contador, on the grounds that some members of Astana had been disqualified for doping in 2007. I've already groused about this injustice here. Contador, by the way, proved his mettle again this year by winning both the Giro and the Vuelta. The race was run under the authority of the French Cycling Federation. And still, still, the French could not win!
But all of that is water under the bridge, or so it is to be hoped.