July 5th-27th 2008
The Tour toward Paris
With the second and last day of stop Monday 14th July in Cuneo during the "trespass" in Italian territory that bring the yellow caravan on the finish of Prato Nevoso in the Piedmont's Alps, the 95th Tour de France entered in the third and last week of competition.
Close to the final finish Sunday 27th July on the traditional circuit of Champs Elysées in Paris, the Grande Boucle 2008 faces the last days of race shaken by a new "doping earthquake".
As more times in the past, the greatest stage-race in the world lost by the way some protagonists guilty to have undertaken bad shortcuts.
Expelled by the run, Italian Riccardo Riccò won't fight anymore for the yellow jersey, stopped for a positive test to the last generation epo.
Second one month ago in the Giro and just winner in this Tour of two stages, he has been dismissed by his team Saunier Duval together with his team-mate Leonardo Piepoli, also winner in Hautacam.
Another time, the Tour wanted to confirm its line against suspect riders.
Other champions wait for sportsmen long the roads of the Tour that till Sunday will climb other historical mountains of French Alps like Galibier, Croix de Fer and Alpe d'Huez before going to the capital for the triumph of the new yellow jersey.
After the stop in Cuneo, the leader is the young Franck Schleck from Luxembourg, but with a few seconds on the adversaries Kohl and Evans.
The same Denis Menchov, Christian Vandevelde and Carlos Sastre they pursue the leader between the 38 and the 49 seconds of delay, very light gap.
So, race still open and interesting, also without Riccò!
The first Italian rider in the general classification is the Sicilian Vincenzo Nibali, twelfth at 5'22" from Schleck.
More delayed Damiano Cunego (at 7'43") and Marzio Bruseghin, third in the Giro, at 15'30".