A national strike in France planned for Tuesday could see many top riders and sport directors locked out of the presentation of the 2011 Tour de France route set for Tuesday morning in Paris.
One name who won’t be there, no matter if the airports are open or not, is Alessandro Petacchi, winner of the green jersey in 2010.
The embattled Italian joins Tour champion Alberto Contador on the MIA list ahead of the Tour presentation, each deciding to skip the ceremony following the threat of doping bans hanging over their heads.
Contador, battling doping allegations after testing positive for traces of clenbuterol, announced last week he didn’t want to be the center of a media hurricane and confirmed he would not attend tomorrow’s Tour presentation.
Petacchi, 36, is fending off a allegations that he used perfluorcarbons, something he vigorously denies. The Italian anti-doping agency is still deliberating on whether or not to open an official case against him.
The veteran Italian enjoyed a fine Tour, winning a stage and the green jersey in his first appearance in the French grand tour since 2003.
Petacchi already served a racing ban for elevated levels of salbutamol from the 2007 Giro d’Italia. If found guilty, he could face a lifetime ban because it would constitute his second doping violation.
With Petacchi and Contador each skipping the Tour presentation, Tuesday’s ceremony will be held without the presence of its green and yellow jerseys.
Several other big names are expected to attend, including the Schleck brothers, newly crowned world champion Thor Hushovd and Cadel Evans.
Check back to VeloNews on Tuesday for full coverage of the unveiling of the route of the 2011 Tour de France.