Monday, February 20, 2006

Tour of California Bike Race


The Amgen Tour of California started yesterday. This is a bicycle race that is supposed to be the US Equivalent to the Tour du France. I was able to see some of the first stage in San Francisco yesterday. And we biked across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito to see the start of today's stage. It is very exciting to have such a large event taking place close to here.

Most people who follow bicycle racing are wondering about the sponsor - Amgen. It is always good to see a company step forward and sponsor a bicycle race, as I enjoy bicycling and like to see the sport become more popular. But it was an interesting choice for Amgen to do this.

The reason for this is that one of the ways that cyclists (and other endurance sport athletes) cheats is to blood dope. One way of doing this is by taking a drug that causes there body to create more red blood cells (drugs which were developed for people who are on chemotherapy). This is illegal, but not something that the authorities are able to easily detect, so it is quite possible that it is done by a lot of the top cyclists.

And who is the maker of this blood doping drug? Amgen!



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