Tour's openness is its greatest strength, and weakness
PAU, France -- Part of the reason the Tour de France has charmed generation after generation for more than 100 years, seducing people who don't give a flip about cycling, converting some of them into permanent spoke-heads, is simple.
The Tour is open. Most of the course is free of barricades. No tickets, no exorbitant parking, no luxury boxes. All it takes to be part of it is whatever effort you want to put into getting there and setting up your folding chairs and your picnic table.
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The 2007 Tour de France could not escape without being rocked by scandal. Several riders, including race leader Michael Rasmussen, have been ousted from cycling's premier event due to doping and suspicion. Here is ESPN.com's complete coverage:NEWS
• Rasmussen returns to cycling in Denmark
• Rabobank director resigns after ousting Rasmussen
• Expert: Documents show Contador doped
• Astana cycling won't race in August
• Sinkewitz fired by team after refusing test
• Report: Spanish rider Mayo tests positive for EPO
• Vinokourov fired by Astana after positive test
• Rasmussen denies he used doping
• Vinokourov's 'B' sample confirms blood doping
• Tour de France owner calls on UCI chief to resign
• Landis lawyers to defend Vinokourov, Astana team
• Rasmussen vows return to professional cycling
• Cyclist Wiggins says '07 Tour 'null and void'
• Officials question cycling's worth as Olympic sport
• Tour boss accuses UCI of violating anti-doping rule
• Team ousts race leader Rasmussen from Tour
• Moreni fails doping test; Vino says he's innocent
• Vinokourov tests positive for blood transfusion
• Teams undergo 'routine' customs checks
• Tour leader Rasmussen erred in testing rules
• Sinkewitz asks for B sample
• T-Mobile's Sinkewitz flunks doping test
• Tour leader, 24 others test negative
BONNIE DESIMONE'S TAKE
• Tour's openness its strength, downfall
• Vino news stuns cycling's 'Honest Guy'
• A failure to communicate
• Rasmussen drama creates more questions
• Officials can test blood, not cyclist's conscience BOBBY JULICH DIARY
• More testing, on and off the road
• Vinokourov news is hard for me to take
• More doping? I just don't get it
• If Rasmussen at fault, why is he at Tour? MORE ANALYSIS
• Kreidler: Are we really surprised?
• Caple: At least the scenery is still spectacular
• Timeline: Past Tour scandals SPORTSNATION
• Vote: Do you think cycling can be saved?
• ESPN.com Tour de France coverage