April 01, 2004
Tests: Beloki near top form
Joseba Beloki's team director, Jean-René Bernadeau, reports that Beloki has recovered "almost all his muscle capacity in his lower right thigh."
Beloki, who crashed out spectacularly in Stage 9 of last year's Tour de France, returned to racing in the Criterium International last week, but finished last in the first stage after a minor crash.
However, with his medical tests aced this week, Beloki is now eyeing an ambitious campaign for the remainder of the spring, starting with Saturday's GP Miguel Indurain and quickly followed by the Tour of the Basque Country starting Monday, April 5.
Beloki was 3rd in the Tour in 2000 and 2001, and second in 2002.
US Postal wins again: Hincapie at De Panne
George Hincapie scored his first overall win in three years by taking a 3rd place in today's time trial, 5 seconds behind the stage winner, which vaulted him from 3rd overall to the overall victory.
Hincapie looks to be in great shape for Sunday's Tour of Flanders and next week's Paris-Roubaix.
"It's a good feeling to win today, as I trained very hard for this week and for the next two weeks," said Hincapie. "It's a good sign, but I will start thinking about Sunday (Flanders) on Saturday night."
How I hate April Fool's Day...
Five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and his new companion, nine-time Grammy Award winning Sheryl Crow, have recorded a duet at Armstrong's home in Girona, Spain, and will release the single in conjunction with this year's Tour.
The song, titled "Love and Life," features both lead and backing vocals from U.S. Postal Service-Berry Floor rider.
"I'll probably catch a little flak about this from the guys on the team," Armstrong said, "but it won't be the first time. Besides, you only live once, right?"