SHOWERS AND STRONG WINDS EXPECTED FOR OPENING STAGE

Saturday?s opening stage of the Tour de France is expected to be nervous as riders fight for the first win but the weather could ad an extra twist.

France Meteo is predicting sunshine and showers for Saturday afternoon, with strong winds blowing from the south-west. That could cause echelons during the final part of the stage and perhaps create some important time gaps.

SILENCE IN THE PRESS ROOM

The Silence-Lotto tried to win over the Tour de France press room on Friday by giving a sample of their Silence anti-snoring spray to every journalist on the race.

The Belgian team seem worried that the 500 or so journalist following the Tour de France will not be able to be able to report on Cadel Evans? attempt to win the Tour de France if they do not get a good nights sleep.

WISH YOU WHERE HERE

The Astana team announced their line-up for the next race on their website.

While most other teams will be riding the Tour de France, Astana will be riding the Tour of Austria and the Cascade Cycling Classic after the Tour organizers refused to invite due to the doping scandals in the team in 2007.

Sean Yates will direct the team in Austria, where Jani Brajkovic will be team leader, while Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer will race in the US race.

2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is currently on holiday, preparing for the Olympic Games.

CSC SAXO BANK PUBLISH ANTI-DOPING PROGRAMME RESULTS

Team CSC Saxo Bank has again published the results of their internal team’s anti-doping program carried out with Rasmus Damsgaard and Bispebjerg University Hospital in Denmark.

Over a 1000 tests were taken from the riders since the introduction of the program and CSC claim that every single one of these tests have been negative.

A summary of the results have been published on the CSC web site (www. www.teamcsc-saxobank.com) and the team says 80% of the tests were carried out of competition with results sent to the UCI.

CSC use a double whereabouts system and said that no rider missed a test.

“With the combination of very specific blood profiles based on unannounced tests throughout the entire year and the hundreds of follow-up tests we have the most extensive and thorough anti-doping program in existence,? Rasmus Damsgaard said in a team statement.

?We have launched an extremely ambitious project and in reality all the riders at Team CSC Saxo Bank have had a valid Biological Passport for the last year.?

Team manager Bjarne Riis also praised the systems, claiming it has played an important part in helping to clean up cycling.

Riis was given his 1996 Tour de France victory just before this year?s race according to Danish magazine Politiken after race organisers ASO admitted they technically couldn?t take it off him.