Time To Roll It Up, Tour Critics Charge

Even performance by new leader is called "suspicious"
By Joseph Fasano,  Newser User
Posted Jul 27, 2007 6:26 AM CDT
Levi Leipheimer of the U.S., left, is followed by overall leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark and Alberto Contador of Spain as they climb the Aubisque pass during the 16th stage of the Tour de France...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Tour de France limped along yesterday under a growing storm of criticism and calls that the event be halted. Three top riders were booted in 30 hours this week in a growing doping scandal. Even the performance by the race's new leader, Spain's Alberto Contador, was called "very suspicious" by a rival team manager.

"The sport is losing,"  said a German rider.  The newspaper France Soir ran a mock death notice saying the tour died after a "long illness." Liberation called the race a "caravan of ridicule" that must be stopped. Italian Daniele Bennati took yesterday's 17th Stage, though Contador still holds a 1:53 overall lead.