Transplant Athlete
Thursday, January 12, 2006
  Le Tour Direct

With the new RAAM Rules, I've been wondering what to do if I'm told I have to compete in the mandatory rest category. I thought I would back out in protest and maybe consider Le Tour Direct instead. Le Tour Direct is the Tour De France in one stage, just like RAAM used to be, its non-stop. Now, I loved cycling in France, but I would be seriously afraid of doing a RAAM style event in a foreign country. The langauage barrier alone would be formidable; then there's the food situation, you can't find a 7-11 on every street corner like you can here. The scenery would be worth it though.

However, I just got a freaky email from one of the organizers of LeTour. He (Hans Mauritz) is accusing co-director Guss Moonen of skipping the 4 toughest peaks in the race (Col du Glandon, Col de Lauteret, Col de Madeleine and Alpe D’Huez) and going further by accusing Guss of cheating in his past RAAM's. Hans claims that Guss' wife Anny is one of the witnesses against him. It just gets even more bizarre, Hans apparently disqualified Jure Robic because Wolfgang Fasching accused Jure of cheating. Then he disqualified Wolfgang because Jure's team accused him of cheating. Jure's defense is that he showed in RAAM 2003 that he can maintain 28 mph when he's 2800 miles into a race. A bit unbelieveable if you ask me.

Not the end of the story. Apparently, Guss received all of the race sponsorship money and paid some prize money to both Jure and Wolfgang. Hans sued Gus claiming that he(Hans) owned the rights to the Le Tour Direct to force Gus to cancel a competing event he had scheduled for 2006. Aparently, Jure is racing Le Tour Direct in 2006 despite being disqualified in 2005? I'm still a bit confused, but that's a lot of drama for a race only a year or so old. Maybe that makes good TV in Europe.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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