Tour de France 2012: Race Is Wide Open After Injuries, Suspensions

Heading into the 2012 Tour De France, one of the top competitors in the event, Spain's Alberto Contador, has been suspended for doping. Contador's suspension essentially makes the 2012 race a wide open competition, according to The New Zeland Herald.

Contador, the biggest name in cycling since the Lance Armstrong era, had one of his three Tour titles stripped in February and was banned from racing through August this year after he tested positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol in the 2010 Tour.

Pre-race injuries and mishaps, too, have depleted the cast of contenders: RadioShack Nissan leader Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who inherited Contador's 2010 title and is also a two-time Tour runner-up, will be at home after sustaining a spine injury this month in the Criterium du Dauphine race. Norway's Thor Hushovd, who won two Tour stages last year, is out as he recovers from a virus.

With all of the injuries and suspensions, it looks like the Tour could be in store for some fresh new faces to make a name for themselves.

Stay up to date with Tour de France news by visiting SB Nation's Podium Cafe.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.