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Tour de France News for June 18, 2004

Edited by Chris Henry

French judge to hear Armstrong case

A French judge will hear the case presented by Lance Armstrong's lawyer on Friday, an effort by the US Postal Service leader to counter allegations of doping in a new book published in France Tuesday. Armstrong's lawyer, Christian Charrière-Bournazel, has argued that eight passages in the book, "LA Confidentiel" be considered defamatory.

Charrière-Bournazel has submitted requests that the book be pulled from the shelves, or the passages in question be removed from the book. In addition, a request has been submitted to require the publisher to insert a statement indicating Armstrong's formal opposition to the allegations in each copy of the book.

A Paris court is expected to hear the case Friday morning. Armstrong has begun legal proceedings against the book's publisher, the publishers of l'Express magazine, which reprinted sections of the book this week, the Sunday Times of London, and the book's authors, David Walsh and Pierre Ballester.

Ullrich expects more attacks

Guerini and Ullrich
Photo ©: Sirotti

The current leader of the Tour de Suisse, Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) said that he expects his rivals to attack him in the mountains in the coming two days. Ullrich, who took the lead in the nine day race by winning the first stage, has so far survived two uphill finishes and yesterday's big mountain stage over the Sustenpass and Klausenpass. This is despite losing three teammates (Vinokourov, Steinhauser and Wesemann) due to crashes or sickness.

"Yesterday me team was super in helping me over the passes," wrote Ullrich on his website, janullrich.de. "From Botero to Guerini, all of them sacrificed themselves for me. It was super how Beppo could hold the tempo so high on the Klausen. Thank you all very much.

"Today to Malbun it will be tough once again. I expect attacks from Camenzind, Cioni and Jeker, who are all in good form. The uphill finish will certainly suit the specialists. If I don't lose too much time, then this tour will be decided on Sunday in the time trial. That is my special discipline!"

Fassa Bortolo announces Tour team

The Fassa Bortolo squad has been named for the Tour de France. Built around super sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, the team also contains Tour stage winner Juan Antonio Flecha, who won in Toulouse last year, and Aitor Gonzalez, winner of the Vuelta España in 2002.

The full team is: Marzio Bruseghin, Fabian Cancellara, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez, Kim Kirchen, Alessandro Petacchi, Filippo Pozzato, Matteo Tosatto and Marco Velo. The reserves are Dario Cioni, Volodimir Gustov and Alberto Ongarato.

Alvaro Gonzalez to miss Tour

Diagnosed with a fractured radius after a recent crash, Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty Seguros) will have to stop riding for up to two weeks and will miss the Tour de France. Gonzalez de Galdeano was examined by Dr. Mikel Sánchez in the clinic "La Esperanza" on Thursday, who diagnosed the fracture.

"It's the first time that I've known so far in advance that I can't go to the Tour de France," said Gonzalez de Galdeano to Todociclismo. "Now, the only thing to do is to have patience and to recover well from the fracture."

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)

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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf