Stage 17: Pau - Castelsarrasin
The BBC is asking if it's the Tour de France or the Tour de Farce. Yesterday the Cofidis team was bounced from the race after one of its riders tested positive for testosterone. Then late yesterday evening, the management of the Rabobank team received new information about Rasmussen. Apparently when he missed one of the out of competition doping tests, he said he was in Mexico in a remote area where he couldn't be reached. He was really in Italy visiting an unnamed doctor, during that time. So because of his lying to the team and the repeated problems, they sacked him. The rest of the Rabobank team was allowed to continue in the race since technically Rasmussen didn't actually test positive during the Tour de France. There was a press conference this morning before the start where race director Christian Prudhomme, ASO president Patrice Clerc and a representative of the Gendarmerie discussed the situation.
The race was pretty uneventful today. There was a small break which stayed away all day. Italian Daniele Bennati won the stage. Alberto Contador of the Discovery team took the yellow jersey. No one wore it during today's stage.
Cadel Evans is 1'53" behind Contador and Levi Leipheimer is 2'49" so it will be interesting to see what happens in the time trial on Saturday.