Cycling: Spain tour cancels leg in France

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The Independent Online
THE ORGANISERS of the Tour of Spain said yesterday that this year's event will not pass through France to avoid tension between police and competitors.

The 13th stage of the Tour, starting and finishing in Sabinanigo, had been due to make an 80km detour into France. The race runs from 6 to 28 September. But, after the events of the Tour de France, when all four Spanish teams pulled out of the event in protest at perceived mistreatment of their riders, the Tour of Spain organisers, Unipublic, have decided to amend the route.

The Tour de France was plagued by drugs scandals. Six teams withdrew from the race and one, Festina, was kicked out after the team director said there was an organised doping ring at work in the team.

"This decision has been taken with the intention of avoiding any more tension," said a spokesman for Unipublic. "We do not want to run the risk of a repeat of what happened in the Tour de France, in relation to the treatment of cyclists by the French police."