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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Roberto Heras
HERAS PROFILE
Roberto Heras
DOB: 1/2/1974
Nationality: Spanish
Best Tour: 9th - 2002
Few riders were more unselfish than Roberto Heras throughout last year's race.

Where Lance Armstrong went on the mountain stages, teammate Heras was generally a bicycle length ahead.

His prowess up some of the toughest climbs was rewarded with a third place on stage 11 at La Mongie and a second spot to Armstrong at Plateau de Beille the following day. He finished ninth overall.

Once again he will have to be at his unselfish best to coax Armstrong to a fifth consecutive Tour de France victory.

Heras will not complain massively as his big personal obstacle each season tends to be Tour of Spain, a race he won in 2000 and was second in last year.

His major obstacle in his bid to be a major Tour de France contender is his running against the clock.

He told the BBC Sport website: "I lose too much time in the time trials which has halted my overall chances in big races in the past."

It remains to be seen how long Heras will be happy to stay on as an understudy, having taken over the mantle of Armstrong's number two from Kevin Livingstone and later Tyler Hamilton.

Expect crowds to be left in awe by his climbing ability, which will surely bring a stage victory on one of the tougher stages this time around.





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