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Le Tour 2001
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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

Tour de France news for July 5, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Luxembourg American Military Cemetery

General Patton's grave
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

Just outside the bustling city of Luxembourg is the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery. On July 4th, American Independence Day, Cyclingnews took a moment out of the 2002 Tour De France hoopla to visit the hallowed ground where the graves of 5,076 American military dead are buried, including a woman Army nurse and that of General George S. Patton Jr.

Patton was born November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California and as well as being considered a controversial figure and one of the greatest combat commanders in American military history, Patton also was an athlete. He represented the United States as an Olympian in the first Modern Pentathlon in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. The 26 year old West Pointer Patton did quite well in this multi-event sport, placing fifth overall. The Modern Pentathlon consisted of 25 meters pistol shooting, sword fencing, 300 meter free style swim, 800 meters horse back riding and a 4-kilometer cross country run.

Luxembourg American Military Cemetery was dedicated 42 years ago on July 4.

Vinokourov out of Telekom's Tour team

Alexander Vinokurov will not start the Tour de France on Saturday, announced his Telekom team today in Luxembourg. The Kazakh is suffering from the effects of a hard fall during the Tour de Suisse, and learned only today that he had fractured his coccyx.

During training earlier in the week, Vinokourov complained of pains when sitting in the saddle. He visited the University clinic in Freiburg, where they performed an MRI scan. In spite of the problems, Vinokourov stayed with the team in Luxembourg this week, receiving the diagnosis on Thursday. The hairline fractures were not picked up when he was X-Rayed in a Swiss hospital, and it took a more advanced screening technique to reveal them.

His substitute is the 10 time Tour veteran Udo Bölts, who said that he felt sorry for Vino, but "nevertheless I look forward to the Tour. Even after 11 times, the Tour is still special. My form is good, I am ready."

However it will also be his last Tour de France for Telekom (and probably for good), as they have decided not to extend his contract for next season.

189 riders declared healthy

Photo: © AFP
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The Tour's 189 riders have all been declared 'fit to start' the race, after the compulsory medical examinations on Thursday. Blood and urine tests were carried out, which also formed part of the UCI's longitudinal health monitoring program. A team of 23 doctors, lab technicians and UCI medical inspectors were on hand to ensure that the results of the tests are known by Friday evening before the start on Saturday in Luxembourg.

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