Damn. Damn. Damn. I noted earlier that Rasmussen missed four tests over the last two years and was on thin ice. Today, after today’s grueling 218.5km ride with two beyond category climbs, two cat 1 climbs, and a cat 3 climb, Rabobank kicked Rasmussen off the team. His Tour is done. The reason: he lied about his whereabouts when he was supposed to be tested. As the BBC reports:
The Danish Cycling Union said last week Rasmussen had been warned for missing two random controls earlier this year and banned him from September’s world championships and the 2008 Olympic Games.
It later emerged he had already been warned twice by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for missing two separate random tests in the past 18 months.
Rabobank manager Theo de Rooy said he was aware of the missed tests and revealed he fined Rasmussen 10,000 Euros (£6,720)….
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: “The important thing is not that he has been sacked by his team but that he will not be at the start of the stage tomorrow.
“We cannot say that Rasmussen cheated, but his flippancy and his lies on his whereabouts had become unbearable.
“I at the very least do not feel that I have been dishonoured.
“One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders,” he added, referring to Rasmussen, Moreni and Vinokourov.
It is unclear if Team Rabobank will start tomorrow.
And, the rider who tested positive after Stage 11 was Cristian Moreni of Team Cofidis. The team of Brit Bradley Wiggins, who had been doing well, withdrew from the race
“One mindless individual has put everybody at risk and it is a shame.”
London’s mayor Ken Livingstone, who watched Wiggins in the prologue, said: “This is deeply disappointing for Bradley Wiggins, who has had a fantastic Tour de France.
Perhaps this new tactic of withdrawing the whole team and not just ejecting a rider will put more pressure on teammates not to waste everyone’s time. Sponsors will definitely put a lot more pressure on riders to be clean.