BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Other Sports: Cycling  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
Statistics
US Sport
Horse Racing
Snooker
Sailing
Cycling
Skiing
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Armstrong's Tour hopes boosted
Lance Armstrong
Armstrong has dominated the Tour in recent years
Organisers have unveiled a mountainous route for next year's Tour de France, a move which will boost Lance Armstrong's hopes of winning a record-equalling fifth title.

The American's iron legs thrive in the gruelling hilly terrain of the tour, where riders can win or lose large amounts of time.

And Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc admitted the course for the 2003 race - which marks the 100th anniversary of the first Tour - would suit the four-time winner.

"I don't think Lance Armstrong has anything to worry about in this itinerary," he said on Thursday.

"There is scope for him to impose his superiority, if there is a superiority (next year)."

Armstrong sealed his fourth straight victory in July by crushing rivals in six mountain stages.

Next year's race, which starts in Paris on 5 July, features seven mountain legs - the hardest being a gruelling 211km eighth stage from Sallanches to L'Alpe d'Huez.

Riders head into the Pyrenees in this year's Tour
The Tour's mountain stages are gruelling

Only three mountain stretches, however, end in exhausting uphill climbs. At 3,402.5km, the 20-stage race will be the seventh shortest in Tour history.

Although 2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the Tour, it will be the 90th time the race has been staged, as it was cancelled during each of the World Wars.

After leaving Paris, the riders pass by the 'Reveil Matin' restaurant in the suburb of Montgeron, the starting point for the first ever Tour in 1903.

Cyclists then head into northeastern France before passing through Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Ville - the six stages of the inaugural Tour.

None of the stages starts or finishes outside France, although the 14th leg in the Pyrenees crosses briefly into Spain.

There are two rest days, three individual time trials including the prologue, and one team time trial.

Armstrong will be bidding to add his name to the list of five-time Tour winners which currently includes Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault the late Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx.

See also:

28 Jul 02 | Cycling
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Cycling stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Cycling stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales