Astana shitcanned from Tour de France

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Yep. I kinda thought this was coming. Think Trek will want their money back?


Tour de France organizers excluded the Astana team from competing at this year’s race Wednesday, forcing Alberto Contador to ride for another team if he wants to defend his title.

The decision to not invite Astana to the July 5-27 race was made because of the “damage caused by this team to the Tour de France and cycling in general, both in 2006 and 2007,” organizers said.

“The Astana team last year betrayed the trust of organizers.”


Amaury Sport Organization, the company that owns the Tour de France announced Wednesday that the Astana team of defending champion Alberto Contador will not be invited to compete in that race or in any other event it organizes in 2008.

…With Contador and American Levi Leipheimer on Astana, the team includes two podium finishers from last year’s Tour. Also affected is Germany’s Andreas Klöden. All three men were widely viewed as race favorites.


In a press release ASO stated that the organizers considered the “damages that this team has done to the Tour de France and to cycling in general. The team Astana has betrayed the organizer’s confidence last year.”

ASO recognized the changes having taken place in the management. They indicated they will follow Astana’s efforts to stay free of affairs in 2008 “and could therefore be considered once again for inclusion in future editions [of ASO races].”

Astana had several doping cases last year with Matthias Kessler and most spectacularly in the Tour de France with Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin.

Looks like I’ll be buying my morning cup of coffee from the likes of Johan Bruyneel in another year. I can’t imagine any other team would risk putting him at the helm.

Except, of course, those class acts over at Rock Racing. He’d be a perfect fit there. He could play the victim card to the hilt.

“The Tour was ‘kind enough’ to call me 15 minutes before the press release to notify me. It doesn’t come as a complete surprise, but the fact that we were singled out doesn’t make any sense to me.”

That’s funny you should say that, Johan. It makes perfect sense to me.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

23 Replies to “Astana shitcanned from Tour de France”

  1. Contador went mano a mano with doped to the fucking gills Rasmussen and almost got him.

    Levi was right there.

    They’re both fucking dopers IMHO.

    Bruyneel is a PRO at finding and using the “right” doctors to keep the doping at it’s undetectable limit.

    He gets flushed, and the peloton takes a HUGE leap forward in cleaning up.

    Two predictions; 1) the Kazaks are gonna pull the plug on this cycling bullshit. No return on the dirty money dime and 2) An important Discovery / Postal rider flips and Lance can’t just talk shit and evade the game any longer. Yeah, some have done little flips. But we need the one to flip who knows the doctor assisted team mandated protocol.

    Slipstream is gonna get invited this year baby! Go Argyle!

  2. that is some funny shit.

    missed my chance at the handmade show to talk to Lancey pants. I would have paid for an earlier flight if I knew this was coming.

  3. “Looks like I’ll be buying my morning cup of coffee from the likes of Johan Bruyneel in another year.”

    Extra shots for everyone!

  4. …while i firmly believe this is about the power struggle between cycling’s old guard ruling bodies & the future control of the sport’s money & prestige, using the obviously apt team astana, i do wanna be clear that, ya, i do see that bruyneel is dragging a closet full of skeletons w/ him wherever he goes…

    …money buys the the best & that includes doctors, methods, subterfuge, cover-ups, et al…

    …the old discovery team had a pretty deep power structure w/ a ‘cia’-like involvement…i wanted to believe they were as good as the cards they showed but not anymore…

    …that being said, i do think bruyneel is now running as strong of a successfully clean program w/ team astana, as anyone in the sport…

  5. The Obama cry for “change” is alive and well in France today. For the first time in a long time I am looking forward to July.

  6. After all the shit in the past two years I could give a fuck about the tour. Yeah I will watch cause it will break up the monotony of the Bull riding I watch on Vs and hopefully the podium girls are hot.

  7. You gotta feel bad for Levi and Horner.
    I hope they don’t end up having tomake claims to the UCI for their wages. If Astana implodes, only the bank securities held by the UCI will cover the salaries.
    The whole thing seems very unfair. Astana is clean now. And Rabobank aint done nothing about last year.

  8. The witch hunt in sports (in general) is out of control. Who really cares? I want to be entertained, and some of the worse “offenders” are great entertainment. You are a liar if you tell me the 07 tour wasn’t fun to watch until it blew up, (or Barry Bonds 73 HR season wasn’t just spectacular to watch for that matter). Clean up the future if you can, but stop punishing the past and the present.

  9. what a bunch of ASO high horse bullshit! What about Rabobank? They caused at least as much damage as Astana did and I have not seen much reorganization going on with them.
    What about Cofidis? – oh wait Cofidis is a French team which means they are automatically included regardless of doping scandals.
    The ASO has waaayyyy too much power in cycling. Astana cannot come to ANY ASO race?? That means no L-B-L Paris-Nice, Crit Intl.,Fleche Wallone, Paris Roubaix, the Tour TDF — and supposedly ASO is shopping for the Vuelta. Astana has the fucking reigning Tour champion for fucks sake!!
    The Pro Tour sucked but at least the was some rules for who attended established races. Instead of the “You’re mean so I’m gonna take my ball and go home” infant attitude of ASO and associates. If you are gonna exclude tainted teams exclude them all or exclude none. No riders = No races it is time for the riders to start sticking together.

  10. Guys–

    Well, someone had to fucking stop those fucking fucks… We have the NY Giants and the Frenchies have the ASO.

    Also, it is a logical fallacy to say (yet again) that Lance had to be a doper because he was so strong. Even without drugs, someone has to be the strongest. I think for a few years of the TdF, Lance was the strongest guy.

    That said, they’re all dopers. The good ones don’t get caught.


  11. …i gotta agree, the riders need to stick together & they oughta do what the ‘aso’ did to team unibet last year…wait ’til the last minute, like during team introductions the night before one of the big races & then drop the bomb…

    …”monsieur prodhomme, either we all ride or you can take the untold millions you’re about to lose, starting tomorrow morning, roll it into a tube & stick it up your ass”…crude, sure, but fucking effective…think that bitch wouldn’t dance…he would be effectively ruined simply because every ‘tour’ is a logistical & financial nightmare…think of the money, equipment, time, & people involved…

    …i applaud the effort it takes to pull year after year of safe, successful tours de france off, but enough is enough…

    …bruyneel is a fucking scapegoat…they didn’t catch him before, so they’re holding the teams participation as hostage to get their demands met, regarding the uci/ protour situation…

    …the riders need the guts to show solidarity & say “this is our day to day life & our daily bread you’re fucking with…stop or we will…

  12. Maybe this is good, maybe not. I am torn.
    It is good that the ASO is attempting to keep what it sees as “suspicious” or “undesirable” people out of the tour, but in this case they name the team–Astana–as the problem, when it truly is a shadow of its former self. Think Discovery would have been excluded this year with JB at the helm?
    And good points already on Rabobank, Cofidis etc.

    If they are going to exclude, then they should hang it out and be specific, give names of the unwanted and make it clear what they see as the problem.

    This has the potential to really send a message to sponsors and chase them away from the sport, or perhaps just from backing suspect teams, most likely the former. This could be either good or bad, maybe more pressure to clean up, maybe just less publicity overall.

    Fallout is going to be interesting regardless.

    I don’t believe this makes the tour that much cleaner, just changes the names. fuck it, we’ll see.

  13. “Also, it is a logical fallacy to say (yet again) that Lance had to be a doper because he was so strong. Even without drugs, someone has to be the strongest.”

    I agree that a clean athlete with a 7 year history of dominating a race that was doped to the gills would be entitled to unlimited praise and skeletal pussy.

  14. Won’t this be a fucking outstanding tour to watch, wasn’t it dramatic last year how Cadel Evans kind of just kept pedaling but was to big of a pussy to throw down?

  15. Some of you that comment on this site must be the most paranoid, cynical people out there. Everyone is always on the attack against Lance. He won, so he must have doped. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but he never failed a test, so drop it already. There is a good chance that without the Lance Factor, even this site might not be as big as it currently is.

    But if you admit your guilt, do your time, and comeback clean as a whistle, then you become a hero. Think David Millar. Do you really think that he would have come clean had he not been caught with a syringe in his home? Why is he now a hero? Why vilify Riis for what he admitted to doing back in ’96, when you can see what he is doing now with CSC?

    Terry makes a good point by stating that we need to stop punishing the past and focusing on the present. I agree. Astana, 2008, is not anything like Asana of 2006 & 2007.

    I read the comments all the time at this site, and others such as ESPN and the NY Times. There is a theme that runs throughout, and that is that a lot of people simply do not like winners. If you win, you must be cheating. Or maybe some of you just don’t try hard enough.

    How many of you have ever had a triple espresso right before competing in a time trial?

  16. “There is a theme that runs throughout, and that is that a lot of people simply do not like winners.”

    I do not think that a lot of people do not like winners. I think that people like shit to add up. You do not go from not winning much of shit to slamming out 7 back to back wins in the hardest race of the year. I myself like the idea of him being clean. I am fan of hope for the best. I will admit that it seems like Lance got lucky quite a few times, with people wrecking out, waiting for him to get back from a crash, and what not. But it seems that when Lances name comes up people change their story real quick like there is a payoff or a threat being handed down.

    As for the TDF and Astana they did what I always say do not do. Somewhere along the time line of the last two years they bit the hand that fed them. That is why they are getting slapped around and not teams like Cofidis, and Robabank. These teams are doing what they were told to do. Or maybe it is not the teams but the sponsors. Maybe Trek backed out of something to help the TDF or the promtors and now thepromoters are going to fuck with the team. Who knows.

    “But if you admit your guilt, do your time, and comeback clean as a whistle, then you become a hero.”

    Not in my eyes. Yeah you are more of a man to me for admiting your mistakes, but your gains and goals are always going to be smudged in my eyes.

    All I got to say is Tomeke, Tomeke, Tomeke. Can someone please put up that link for the techno song again so I can annoy the shit out of my friends with it. I need that middle part as my ringer on my phone.

  17. “You do not go from not winning much of shit to slamming out 7 back to back wins in the hardest race of the year.”

    I believe he won the World Championship in 1993.

    Major wins pre-tour champion:

    1993 World Pro Road Race
    1 stage, Tour de France
    1995 Clasica San Sebastian
    1 stage, Tour de France
    1996 Flèche Wallone
    1998 Tour de Luxembourg

    That does not show numerous stage race victories in the U.S.

  18. I am saying yeah he won some stages, but did he win any of the majors besides the Championship. ’98 was when he started his winning streak. So you could count that into his “doped years” as some of his nay sayers would say. And 1993 championship, isn’t that when people questioned his tatics of taking people into the back of a journo/refree motorcycle and then swerving at the last minute so the people behind him would hit it before he went into a turn?
    I like the guy, I try to always say I do not know if he doped. Like I said, nothing would make me happier to believe that this guy never did anything illegal to give himself the edge. but let us be honest you can not be sure he did not dope. In a peleton that is full of it, and people coming out saying that their whole team was on a regiment. More and more it starts to point at the fact that he could of possibly used something.