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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Iban Mayo
Iban Mayo
DOB: 19/8/1977
Nationality: Spanish
Best Tour: 2003 - sixth place
Iban Mayo was one of the stars of last year's race, dancing his way up some of the toughest mountain stages to sixth.

His finest hour came with victory on Alpe d'Huez after an exceptionally brave ride but it was not his only good effort on the French hillsides.

He was also third on stage nine and picked up second place behind Lance Armstrong on stage 15.

To challenge for the overall win, he needs to improve his time trialling - the weakest part of his game.

But when it comes to natural climbing ability, there is no one to better him among his peers.

This season the signs have already been good for Mayo. He impressed during the Tour of Murcia as well as finishing second in the Tour of the Basque Country.

He showed his finest talent on the Dauphine Libere - one of the major Tour warm-ups - by wining ahead of Armstrong.

The overall win in France is no means out of his grasp and he has already singled out a place on the podium in Paris as well as the stage victory at La Mongie.

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