Tour de France: Page 436

Tour de France race news, results, commentary, and photos. The 106th edition of the Tour de France is one of cycling’s three grand tours.

2010 Tour de France starts in Rotterdam

The 2010 Tour de France will open with a nine kilometer individual time trial through the streets of Rotterdam, race director Christian Prudhomme announced in Rotterdam on Thursday. It will be the first time that the Tour will have started from the Dutch port city, but four other cities in the country — Amsterdam (1954), Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978) and 's-Hertogenbosch 1996) have previously enjoyed the honor. The 2009 race kicks off from Monaco.

Luxembourg anti-doping authorities will not pursue charges against Fränk Schleck.

Luxembourg's anti-doping agency will not open a disciplinary case against Fränk Schleck, who said he transferred nearly 7000 euros in March 2006 into an account belonging to Eufemiano Fuentes, the alleged ringleader of the Operación Puerto doping ring. According to European news reports and a press release from Schleck's Saxo Bank team, the agency found no evidence of actual doping violations and has decided to close the case.

Landis drops suit

Floyd Landis has dropped his federal lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, according to documents signed by both parties on Thursday. Landis had sued earlier in September, seeking to overturn his two-year suspension for doping at the Tour de France and a $100,000 penalty imposed by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in June. Landis charged that all three members of the appeals panel had conflicts of interest that would have precluded a fair hearing in the matter. Those conflicts, Landis charged, went unreported by each of the three.

Armstrong, Contador to train together Thursday

Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong will train together for the first time on Thursday, their Astana team said. On Tuesday, the two former Tour de France champs trained in separate groups in a session that began on Sunday on the island of Tenerife. "We have groups each day, one with the best prepared cyclists and the other with the least prepared," an Astana spokesman said. The two are to train together "in theory” on Thursday.

Schumacher denies doping, threatens suit

Former Gerolsteiner rider Stefan Schumacher, who failed a doping test at the Tour de France, said Thursday he will sue the French anti-doping authorities (AFLD) for defamation. "I have been judged and pilloried," Schumacher, who has always denied doping, wrote on his Web site. "My conscience is clear." "I don't want to stop here and I will not stop here," Schumacher added. "The people who have always believed in me and continue to do so and don't deserve this." Schumacher is one of four riders to have failed a test for the new EPO variant known as CERA at this year's Tour de France.

France bans Beltran over Tour positive

Spanish cyclist Manuel Beltran has been banned from racing in France for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO at this year's Tour de France. France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD) made the announcement Tuesday.

Kohl gets two years

Bernhard Kohl, who last month admitted to using drugs in the Tour de France where he finished third, was banned from cycling for two years on Monday. The suspension was handed down by the disciplinary commission of Austria's anti-doping agency, NADA. Kohl tested positive in retroactive controls carried out by France's national anti-doping agency last month for CERA, the new generation of banned blood booster EPO.

Landis turns to U.S. courts to challenge CAS

American Floyd Landis has challenged the ruling of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport that stripped him of the 2006 Tour de France title in U.S. Federal court, charging that the system for resolving doping cases is inherently biased against the accused.

Valverde to focus on Tour in 2009

Alejandro Valverde has won just about everything he’s wanted in his productive career, except a grand tour. Prolific in one-day classics and smaller stage races, Spain’s “Balaverde” has struggled in GC in three-week grand tours. With two podium finishes in the Vuelta a España, Valverde still believes he can win a major tour.