July 24, 2003
Yahoo! Sport talked to a number of former Tour riders and coaches, most of whom feel like it's Lance Armstrong's race to lose:
- Stephen Roche:
"I can see Ullrich taking 45 seconds off Armstrong. He might ride with some big gears that Armstrong will find difficult to match. Armstrong doesn't like the heat either and the past few cooler days have allowed him to rest up.
"If the weather stays the same, I can see him winning the Tour."
- Cyrile Guimard (coached Laurent Fignon, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond):
"There are no difficult parts except for the roundabouts. But one minute seven seconds is a lot to take back from a guy who is wearing the yellow jersey."
- Bernard Hinault:
"It will be war between the two of them. The flat profile of the route means nothing. There could be big or small time gaps whether its flat or hilly," said Hinault.
"If you're stronger, you ride faster. Ullrich is certainly capable of going out to get the yellow jersey and if he does it will all come down to a few seconds."
- Laurent Jalabert:
"A flat route works to Ullrich's advantage. I think he's capable of winning the time trial by a minute or even 1:10. He's finishing the race much fresher and Armstrong hasn't dominated like he has in previous years."