Cycling: Tour's 'inhuman demands'

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The Independent Online

As the Tour de France meanders across the northern plains towards the Pyrenees and the Massif Central you have to recall once again the words of the great Jacques Anquetil, who remains for many the heart and the soul of the world's greatest bike race.

When told of another of the periodic drug scandals, he said that he was always surprised by public outrage. "What should be surprising is not that some of the boys take drugs, but that some of them don't. Let us be honest, the Tour makes inhuman demands." And vast profits. It is a reality that is rarely fed into the moralistic equation. Meanwhile, you can only offer a silent prayer for the boys who try to do it right.