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Tour de France News for May 11, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Carmichael: Armstrong on track for six

High performance is the name of the game for Chris Carmichael of Carmichael Training Systems, whether it's designing a training program for Lance Armstrong, coaching the Tour Of Hope Team Of Twenty for their cross-country odyssey this fall or helping any cyclist or runner get the most out of their experience. While in Georgia recently to work with Armstrong in his Tour de Georgia win, Carmichael spoke to Cyclingnews European Editor Tim Maloney about Lance Armstrong's chances in this year's Tour de France, and his new CTS Performance Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Chris Carmichael signs a book for a fan at the Cadence grand opening
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Nicknamed "The Kid" at the beginning of his cycling career, Carmichael still has the friendly, open face and articulate enthusiasm we remember when we met him two decades ago when he was on the 7-Eleven cycling team.

Cyclingnews: After winning the Tour de Georgia, how does Lance Armstrong look to you as he prepares for his attempt to win his sixth straight Tour de France in July?

Chris Carmichael: Lance is looking good in Georgia. He was strong there and is on the right track to be ready for the Tour in July. The next two months will be full of hard, specific preparation for Lance. To win the Tour is never easy.

CN: What will LA be doing in the next month leading up to the Dauphine Libéré to prepare for the Tour?

CC: Lance will ride the Tour du Languedoc-Rousillon [formerly the Midi Libre] along with the Dauphine Libéré to prepare for the Tour. This will be the core of his final preparation but his training will focus on climbing at specific training intensities and pedal cadences to increases his repeatable climbing power while reducing the muscle stress (watts per-pedal stroke) at this specific power output.

CN: Can you talk about Lance's specific preparation for the ITT on l'Alpe d'Huez?

CC: Lance will be testing new technology in preparation for this Tour stage. He will also be focusing on the landscape, each turn, change in grade, and sustainable power for specific time periods, pedal cadence. The duration of sustainable power is critical for the ITT up l'Alpe d'Huez, meaning it is not simply a "flat line" of average power the entire time trial. It will vary given the grade and duration of each section of the TT.

Click here for the full interview with Chris Carmichael.

Can Mayo do it again in Naranco?

After a crushing win in last weekend's Clasica Alcobendas, Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) will start in today's Subida a Naranco as the favourite. Mayo won the mountain stage, the bunch sprint and was second in the time trial in Alcobendas, so if he has recovered sufficiently in two days, he will be tough to beat in the 38th edition of this 162 km race that finishes atop the Alto del Naranco.

Other favourites include Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), who is starting to find the right kind of form in the mountains, as well as Felix Cardenas and Hernan Buenahora (Cafes Baque). There's also Mayo's teammate Samuel Sanchez, who would like a win on home ground.

In addition to the final 5.5 km climb, the race also includes the climbs of Orlé, La Colladona, El Padrún and La Manzaneda.

Le Boulanger confirmed out for the season

The RAGT Semences - MG Rover team hasn't had a great deal to celebrate in recent times, especially Yoann Le Boulanger's crash in the Tro Bro Léon. The team has confirmed that Le Boulanger will be out until the end of the season in order to recover from his fractured knee joint.

The team is now aiming for the Tour de Languedoc-Roussillon and the Tour de France, and team manager Jean-Luc Jonrond is taking an optimistic viewpoint. "There's something good about every event and we will win through in the end and get the better of our series of unfortunate happenings," he said.

Dean out for at least a month

New Zealand sprinter Julian Dean, who fractured his forearm in two places after crashing in Stage 2 of the Four Days of Dunkirk, will be out of action for between four and six weeks, according to his Credit Agricole team.

On the other hand, Damien Nazon is making good progress after injuring his ankle in a crash in the Doha International Grand Prix in Qatar early this season, and will come back to the fray in the Tour de Picardie in mid-May, followed by the Bayern Rundfahrt and the Tour du Luxembourg.


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