Lance Armstrong says the 2009 Tour de France route, unveiled Wednesday, is "innovative and very interesting" and he said he looks forward to negotiating with Tour officials about "a mutually beneficial future together."
In the statement released Wednesday afternoon, Armstrong appeared to be a bit ambivalent about whether he would ride the Tour next year.
Call the 2009 Tour de France a race of innovation and originality.
Unwinding like a corkscrew from Monaco on July 4 to the finale into Paris three weeks later, the 21-stage race will be one hard to control and full of room for riders who dare to defy traditional tactics.
Mont Ventoux is back, and so is the team time trial, but what makes the 2009 Tour route so interesting is that organizers were not afraid to throw convention to the wind.
Former Saunier Duval climber Leonardo Piepoli failed to turn up for his Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) doping hearing on Wednesday, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Piepoli was due to face charges that he had taken the new generation of the blood booster EPO during the Tour de France in July.
The men favored to contest for the yellow jersey in the 2009 Tour de France applauded the route revealed in Paris on Wednesday, calling it “difficult, but interesting.”
The 96th edition of the Tour de France will begin on July 4 in the Mediterranean Principality of Monaco, race director Christian Prudhomme announced at the Palais des Congrès of Paris on Wednesday.
Tour de France organizers will finally end months of waiting on Wednesday by unveiling the route that they hope will provide another exciting, albeit cleaner, race for the famous yellow jersey.
In the months since Spaniard Carlos Sastre claimed overall victory, seven riders - including KOM winner Bernhard Kohl and stage winners Ricardo Riccò, Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher - have been exposed as drugs cheats.
However a bigger question on the minds of some fans will be whether seven-time champion Lance Armstrong will take part.
Tour de France king of the mountain Bernhard Kohl admitted on Wednesday that he had doped in preparation for this year’s race.
In a Wednesday evening press conference in Vienna, Austria, Kohl took full responsibility for a “bad decision,” driven at least in part by the fear that he wouldn't land a new contract when his Gerolsteiner team announced plans to fold at the end of 2008.
Kohl denied that there was a systematic doping program at Gerolsteiner, despite the fact that his teammate, Stefan Schumacher, was also found to be positive for the new variant of EPO, known as CERA.
Austria's Bernhard Kohl will be the "seventh and last" positive doping case from this year's Tour de France, according to sports daily L'Equipe on Tuesday.
Kohl, the best climber at this year's race where he finished third overall, has become the fourth rider to test positive for CERA, a new generation of the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
In all seven riders tested positive at this year's race, which was won by Spaniard Carlos Sastre of the CSC team.
Austrian cycling star Bernhard Kohl awoke to widespread criticism in his country's press Tuesday after he became the latest rider to be snared for doping at this year's Tour de France.
A surprising third place finisher, who surprised climbing specialists by winning the King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey, Kohl on Monday was confirmed as the fourth rider - after Italians Ricardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli, and fellow Gerolsteiner teammate Stefan Schumacher - to test positive for CERA, a new generation of the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
Austrian climbing sensation Bernhard Kohl is the latest rider to test positive for CERA during this year’s Tour de France, according to France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD).
Kohl, who rode away with the best climber’s jersey and finished third overall, is the fourth rider to be caught up in the net cast by the French anti-doping authorities.
French officials, who ran an unprecedented number of anti-doping controls at this year’s Tour, are vigorously back-testing blood samples taken during July’s Tour with a new testing method to detect the third-generation blood booster.