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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
16. Tour 2006: Parents Protest
by Rebecca Bell

Alberto Contador’s mother and father publicly voice their reaction to the injustice done to their son at the beginning of the Tour 2006:

“Public condemnation from Alberto Contador’s family, dated August 4, 2006

 “The powerlessness and distress that we, as parents of cyclist Alberto Contador, feel these days has led us to make a public condemnation of what has befallen our family since our son has been forbidden to participate in the Tour de France. We are supposed to live in a democracy where laws exist to protect the citizens....
“According to the law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, our son has been punished in being barred from taking part in the most important sports event, without the least consideration of destroying his efforts, sacrifices, work, and hopes to improve his results from the previous year. Where are his rights, our rights, in all this?
“Some past family experiences, which are beside the point, made us realize that corruption exists at all levels of modern society, and that moral values are disregarded without due consideration or scruples. Nevertheless, we are convinced that honesty and peace of mind are most important in life, and consequently have tried to transmit these values to our children. As parents, we are proud to say that we have succeeded in our endeavor, and that our children have adopted these values. And this peace of mind, that we are so proud of in our family, is the only thing that supports us in such an unfair situation as the one we now have to deal with.
“We have seen our name slandered, dishonored, humiliated, and as a consequence we now feel distressed, depressed, ashamed, and are facing sometimes ill-intentioned and sarcastic comments. And all this as a result of having taught our children to do good! Who will answer to all that? To the moral harm done to us, we could add the huge amount of patience that is required of us to clarify the situation, since to this day nobody has explained to us why our son has been forbidden to take part in the Tour.
“Nowadays, when it’s so difficult to be a good parent, it’s distressing to see our son suffering irreparable harm when he always tried to do his best: a life of sacrifice, training in the rain or in the heat at 40°, having to go to sleep early because he must be well rested the following morning for a 200-kilometer training ride. And all this destroyed without the least consideration or scruples.
“Nevertheless, our son carries on training in view of the Vuelta a España, with the feeling of not knowing why a name appears and another disappears from those wicked random lists in such a carefree and frivolous way.
“The saying goes ‘Time will put everything in its place,’ but who will accept responsibility for all the harm done, who will make our son believe that good people still exist, that justice is fair and that those who do good have nothing to fear?
“We call for a rapid clarification of the situation of those riders who have found themselves involved in Operación Puerto when they had nothing to do with it, and we share with all those riders the following thought: ANTI DOPING LAWS SHOULD NOT ONLY PUNISH THOSE WHO DESERVE IT, BUT ALSO DEFEND THOSE SPORTSMEN WHO BELIEVE AND PRACTICE A CLEAN SPORT.
Alberto Contador’s Family”
Alberto Contador, Solvang camp
Solvang Training Camp, January, 2007
Copyright © Liz Kreutz

Race Report, Stage 16
Orthez - Gourette - Col d’Aubisque, 218.5km

Alberto left the Pyrenees without being able to achieve his goal of taking time away from Michael Rasmussen. But he kept his promise to his fans, and gave it everything.

“Today has been the hardest stage of this Tour, and my day was not too good. In the last climb, I made the effort more for the fans' sake, and because I wanted it so much, than for my legs. I couldn't shake Rasmussen, and I believe that because I attacked, I mortgaged the stage win. But I'm satisfied, because we've animated the race.”

Since the GC stays the same, Alberto is realistic about the final time trial. “I have to fight to defend second place, which is not guaranteed, because Evans and Leipheimer can do a good time trial. To take three minutes on Rasmussen would only be possible if he has another catastrophic day like he did last year {2005}. But as he is now, I don't think he'll have problems.”

Alberto also pointed to the issue of cumulative stress. “I think that more than anything, the pressure and all the attention from the press affected me, because the rest day was almost harder than a race day.”

“After 120 km of the stage, I realized that I was not going as good as other days, although in l’Aubisque I thought I was okay. At the end, my legs were not going the way my heart wanted.”

Alberto's results:

Stage 16          3rd        0.35
Young rider     1st

GC                  2nd         3.10
Young rider     1st        76.18.25 (Closest rival is Soler at 13.31 )


On Wednesday evening, Michael Rasmussen was expelled from the Tour de France and fired from his Rabobank team. Since this Tour began, Rasmussen has faced growing suspicion and outright hostility from race organizers, the Danish national federation, the press, fans, other riders, and even teammates. Rabobank officials report that Rasmussen lied to team officials about his whereabouts when he avoided required doping tests in June, staying in Italy while claiming to be in Mexico.

Alberto Contador thus moves into first place in the 2007 Tour de France.

Translations by Christine Kahane

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Alberto Contador banner design: Nicky Orr   Banner photo: Christine Kahane

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