Cofidis Blues, Martin, Tour of Alberta & Looking Towards the Mountains!

Stage 16 on the Col du Castillon...
Louison Bobet rides on and after the stage wins the mountains classification!

Today's rest day is anything but restful.

I woke up to the sad news that Cofidis climber, Remy Di Grégorio is detained for questioning by the French police for alleged doping substances' trafficking. You may remember Cofidis withdrew from the 2007 Tour after Christian Moreni failed an anti-doping test. Cofidis sensing déjà vu decided not to quit and will stay in the race. I'm glad Cofidis is staying in the Tour, insisting Di Gregorio acted alone and that the situation wouldn't affect the teams goals. As it stands, Di Grégorio is suspended by the team as this investigation carries painfully on...

Yvon Sanquer, manager of Cofidis tries to pick up the pieces
during today's press conference.
photo: Christophe Ena

One of my favorite riders is Tony Martin (quiet but carries a big time trial stick), riding bravely through the first week with a fractured scaphoid bone after a heavy fall on stage one has decided to go no further. Before the difficult mountain climbs begin, and that equates to more pain than gain, he will try to recover before the London Games.

Tony Martin joins Ryder Hesjedal hoping to change their luck for the upcoming Olympics. Good luck to both.

Alex Stieda: dreams come true...
1986 Tour

Excellent news coming from Alex Stieda, former yellow jersey holder of the 1986 Tour, is working on bringing a top level, six day stage race to Alberta for September 2013. And, it hits a closer nerve to me because I was born in Calgary. Stieda has support from the Alberta government in the tune of about $2 million and now busy working with potential new sponsors and the UCI. He says the race will definitely happen.

Everything the UCI is telling us now is all good, all positive.

No route has been finalized but they plan to start in Edmonton, ride through the Rockies and finish in Calgary. The Tour of Alberta would be an international race like the Tour of Utah and slightly below the Tour of California...

my Albertan mojo is turned on!

Again, who said rest days are restful especially with the mountain stages upcoming?

As the mountains will surely ramp up more high drama... I leave you with this beautiful, dramatic, black and white image of three-time Tour champion, Louison Bobet looking mesmerized climbing Col de Castillon during the 1950 Tour. A week before the Tour, Bobet won the French National Championship road race and together with Raphael Geminiani tried to topple an unbeatable Ferdi Kubler. Bobet won in the high mountains to Briancon, won the mountains classification and finished third overall.