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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Joseba Beloki
BELOKI FACTFILE
Joseba Beloki
DOB: 03/03/1978
Nationality: Spanish
Team:
Best Tour: Second overall - 2002
The Spaniard has continually done his best to haunt Lance Armstrong in the previous three Tours.

But, despite twice finishing third and achieving a Tour best of second last year, he has looked some way off matching the class of the Texan.

Along with Jan Ullrich, he looks set to be the closest rival to Armstrong and has the backing he needs.

ONCE, aside from US Postal perhaps, were the team of last year's race with a host of their riders impressing in the top 10.

Beloki was the pick of them but at no stage did he realistically push Armstrong and, as such, one wonders where he will pick anything fresh with which to trouble his rival.

This time he has made clear his intention to solely focus on the race, with team boss Manolo Saiz determined to finally notch up a victory and stop Armstrong's dominance over the race.

Beloki's build-up to the 2002 event was hampered by an Achilles tendon problem 12 months ago.

This time there has been no such problems for the Spaniard and he has warned that he feels mentally refreshed and tough.





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