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UPDATED: Basso. Ullrich, Sevilla, Mancebo out of the Tour!!!
 
By Staff
Date: 6/30/2006
UPDATED: Basso. Ullrich, Sevilla, Mancebo out of the Tour!!!
 

UPDATED: Basso. Ullrich, Sevilla, Mancebo out of the Tour!!!

The Tour de France kickoff is one day away, but we already know which big guns of the peloton are not going to win: Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, Oscar Sevilla and Paco Mancebo.

Early this morning, the T-Mobile Team decided to suspend their best-known athlete (and the only rider presumed to line up for the start with a yellow jersey in Paris as part of his palmares) involved - according to rumors from Spain - in the "Operación Puerto", the doping scandal that recently broke out at Madrid and surroundings, and currently under investigation in the Iberian country.

Spain's own Oscar Sevilla as well as the "Magenta" Directeur Sportif Rudy Pevenage were also hit by the same decision, according to the squad's speakers Christian Frommert and Luuc Eisenga, who gave a press conference earlier this morning and reportedly said that after they read the documents the Tour directors delivered them, they decided it was impossible for them to continue any form of cooperation with "those three persons". The Germana and the Spaniard were replaced in the Tour de France T-Mobile line-up by Luxembourg's Stephan Schreck and Italy's Lorenzo Bernucci.

More and more Tour de France "wannabe" participants were reportedly involved in the Spanish scandal affair, the biggest name - Jan Ullrich's aside - reportedly being that of Ivan Basso. And the Giro d'Italia winner, (formerly) aiming for a sensational double this year, became the next excellent "victim" of last-minute exclusions as the race directors announced minutes ago that the Team CSC leader will not be allowed to start the race. Similarly to Ivan, and for the same reasons, another man involved in the same "Operación Puerto" story, Spain's Francisco Mancebo of the AG2R Prévoyance squad, will be forced to skip this "unusual" (to say the least) 2006 edition of the event, that will start as expected anywyay. But will some "smaller" rosters, as neither Basso nor Mancebo, both of them (unlike Ulle) excluded by the race organizers, will be replaced.

Breaking news has Mancebo claiming innocence, and announcing he will, "hang up his bike," and retire.

Even more guys might fall in the next hours though, as according to Bernard Hinault, up to 15-20 athletes could be forbidden to start the race.

Further updates to come!
 

 
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