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First Edition TdF Cycling News for June 26, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones

Armstrong confident despite crash

Lance Armstrong has suffered several small injuries in a crash during a training ride around Nice, France. News agency AP reported the six time-Tour de France winner to have a black eye, a cut over his right eyebrow and abrasions on his hands and knees, after the fall, which happened at low speed during the start of a training ride last week. Apparently, he lost control on his time-trial bike and sailed over the handlebars, his helmet splitting in two on impact.

Nevertheless, Armstrong is looking forward to the French Grand Tour. "I'm excited about the race," he said. "I feel very good on the bike. And I would even venture to say that I feel better than I've ever felt." The Texan also insisted that the motivation to win the event for a seventh consecutive year is even stronger than before.

"My kids weren't there last year and that was a real bummer for me," Armstrong said. "And they are going to be there this year. For them to come over here, come into my office basically, and see their father at work is important to me. And I would love for them to see me in a yellow jersey. That, right there, alone, is plenty of motivation."

Armstrong, who has a final training ride scheduled for Monday, June 27, will recon the Saint-Etienne time trial of the penultimate stage on Tuesday. Later in the week, he will also see the opening time-trial course. "I fully understand that when I go and do reconnaissance on a course, that is the last time I'll do that as a rider," Armstrong said. "I'm not going to lie and say that I start crying when I finish or anything because I've sort of been glad that I won't be doing that anymore. Athletes can't play at the highest level forever. So much of it is about timing and figuring just how long the body can continue to do what it does. This year felt like the right time to stop, and based on what I can tell, I'm ready to hopefully go out at or near the top."

CSC: Roberts to Tour

After Sunday's National Championship in Denmark, CSC team director Bjarne Riis selected the ninth and last rider for the Danish squad's Tour de France line-up. Australian rider Luke Roberts is now going to the Tour, the team's directeur sportif Scott Sunderland confirmed to Cyclingnews. The full team roster is as follows: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Ivan Basso, Bobby Julich, Giovanni Lombardi, Luke Roberts, Carlos Sastre, Nicki Sørensen, Jens Voigt and David Zabriskie.

Wauters with Rabobank

Marc Wauters has been selected as the ninth rider for the Rabobank Tour team. Wauters has made a strong comeback from a crash, and was an important rider in the Belgian Championships today. Rabobank's full squad is: Michael Boogerd, Erik Dekker, Karsten Kroon, Gerben Löwik, Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening, Denis Menchov, Michael Rasmussen and Marc Wauters.

Illes Balears' Tour line-up

Illes Balears' team director Eusebio Unzue has announced the our de France roster of his cycling squad. Francisco Mancebo will lead the squad, along with 2004 white jersey winner Vladimir Karpets. They will be accompanied by Spanish talent Alejandro Valverde, as well as David Arroyo, Chente García, Xabier Zandio, Daniel Becke, José Luis Arrieta and Isaac Gálvez.

Ullrich has new girlfriend

By Susan Westemeyer

Team T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich has confirmed that he has a new woman in his life: Sara Steinhauser, 28, sister of his teammate and good friend Tobias Steinhauser. He told German tabloid Bild am Sonntag that the two have known each other for a long time, but that it first "sparked" between them after he had separated from Gaby Weis, the mother of his daughter Sarah Maria. Sara Steinhauser works as a marketing expert for the ski-maker Elan.

Tactics for Fantasy Tour

This year's Fantasy Tour is under way. You can begin building your teams now! There will be over 25 opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. Based on the live racing action, you will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with managers from around the world. Follow the races live and use your skill and knowledge to win prizes. For more info go to the fantasy site.

Tactics

João Marques
Click for larger image

João Marques from Portugal, who came second in last year's Fantasy le Tour game, shares some of his tactics for this year's game:

"First of all, I would like to say, that this is one of the best games that I have played online. It's a great way to watch the every day stages of the Grand Tours. About this year TDF game, considering the change in rules, I will use different tactics this year. Of course, the mostly important thing, is to catch the first five or six of the GC. But it is also very important to catch the best climbing riders and those who score a lot in the points classification. In my view, the best way to pick the riders, is to choose seven for GC, two for the Mountains, two strong guys for the stages, and the remaining four, they will come from the first eigth stages. The difficulty lies in having to select our riders before the first real mountain stage, the shape of the best riders can't be known for sure.

Good luck!

João (manager João Marques, Portugal)

Prize list

 
Click for larger image

The prize list is currently being finalised.

1st Prize - a TREK Madone Discovery Team bike.

Stage by Stage Prizes

- Specialized - 21x pairs of sunglasses Runnerup Prizes
- Bontrager - 2x pairs Bontrager Race X-Lite Aero wheels, 1x Race X Lite OS handlebars, 1x Race XXX Lite OS carbon stem, and 1x Race X Lite Pro saddle.
- DMT - 3x pairs of Flash shoes
- Speedplay - 4x pairs of CSC pedals
- CTS - Signature coaching package
- fi'zi:k - 5x Team issue Arione saddles

More prizes will be confirmed shortly.

New Rules

In conjunction with feedback and suggestions from players of the game over three years, we have developed a new points system for the Tour games. We've awarded more points to a greater number of riders and given back more emphasis to GC placings. Thanks to all of you who helped us develop the new points system. Have a look for yourself in the [ points section.

How to Play

You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first 8 stages for FREE! We will be adding additions to the startlist on a daily basis. The Tour games are easy to play, all you need to do to manage your own team is select 15 riders from the live start list then select 9 of these riders to race each day throughout the Tour. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Tour. So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Tour. Create your teams now at fantasy.cyclingnews.com.

Good luck!

The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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