Coca Cola may have signed up until 2009 to sponsor Le Tours white jersey for the best placed youngster but it has ramped down its marketing of the event. Other big profile sponsors are said to be similarly disillusioned with cyclings dopey image

Drugs are bad for cokes image, says TdF sponsor

Thanks to the continuing drugs kerfuffle French bank Credit Lyonnais, a major sponsor of the Tour de France for the past twenty years, may pull its support when its contract expires in 2003.

Fiat is also said to be considering its options, citing cyclings tarnished profile.

However, not all is doom and gloom. The Tours director-general, Jean-Marie Leblanc, last week announced a French coffee brand Cafes Grand Mere would be helping to support the 2001 Tour. At the press conference that went with the announcement Leblanc said that the new measures imposed by the UCI will help the race to rid itself of the doping allegations.

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