January 13, 2004
Whassup with Armstrong in the TT?
Through the 2003 Tour time trials, Armstrong lost 1:25 to Jan Ullrich, the man he readily admits is the one rider who can come close to beating him. In fact without the rain on the penultimate day Ullrich's overall time gap to the Texan could have been very slim indeed, as the pair were level pegging on the stage when Ullrich crashed.
Armstrong may have won the overall and taken an historic fifth consecutive Tour but for the first time in five years his individual time-trailing brought him a big zero. Is that another sign of the decline that has been talked about over the the New Year?
The article speculates that the uphill TT in the 2004 Tour should help Armstrong, who has won a lot of mountain stages over the years.
I think it's wrong to make too much of the last TT in the 2003 Tour; once Ullrich went down, Armstrong would have been stupid to go all out to the finish.
Reports are that Armstrong agreed to do the Tour of the Algarve next month in Portugal when organizers added a 20-km TT, which Procycling says is evidence Armstrong "has a TT plan for 2004."
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