Friday, July 6, 2007

The big loop

That's the nickname in French of the Tour de France: la grande boucle. It's weird but wonderful to think that it'll be starting tomorrow in the streets of London. It's reassuring, too, to know that all 189 riders have signed the famous anti-doping chart imagined by the UCI [Union cycliste internationale]. In signing this draconian chart, a cyclist agrees to provide a DNA sample to the authorities investigating the so-called Puerto scandal. Furthermore, he declares that he's not involved in any ongoing doping affair, and that he doesn't intend to take dope. Finally, if ever he were to be caught cheating, he agrees to pay a fine to the UCI that would represent his total earnings for 2007.

The eyes of French spectators will be turned towards an amazing cyclist named Christophe Moreau, who recently won the prestigious Dauphiné Libéré and went on to become the 2007 road champion of France. He's amazing, above all, because of his age: 36. Many observers are convinced that Christophe's major motivation, which has pushed him to victory, is his first child, born on 23 April 2007. If so, that's certainly a far more healthier stimulus than dope.

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