Tour de France News for May 16, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
Armstrong on the Alpe
Five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is back in Europe and
already down to serious business in preparation for his bid for a sixth
Tour win in July. Armstrong returned Monday from an extended stay in the
United States, highlighted by an overall victory at the Tour de Georgia.
Not one to waste time, the American traveled to France Wednesday for an
extended reconnaissance of the famed Alpe d'Huez. The fabled climb will
be the scene of a dramatic uphill time trial in this year's Tour, a stage
Armstrong expects to be of utmost importance.
"The Alpe d'Huez occupies a lot of my thoughts," Armstrong told l'Equipe
earlier this spring. "It's a physical, technical, and tactical challenge,
and I don't want to neglect anything. I'm going when the weather is good
since it's a mountain that I know well, but not perfectly."
Armstrong tackled the climb several times Wednesday and Thursday and
was joined by several US Postal Service teammates for the weekend, including
José Azevedo, Manuel Beltran, and José Luis Rubiera. Armstrong
and US Postal will line up at the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon next week
to begin the final phase of preparation for the Tour, which will also
include the Dauphiné Libéré in June.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)
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