June 14, 2004
Armstrong gives Tour preview
Lance Armstrong sat down with cyclingnews.com's Time Maloney to discuss Armstrong's preparations for this year's Tour, his Dauphiné time trial results, being a Jeopardy clue, and what's on his iPod.
Looking ahead to the Tour:
You referred to the last week of the Tour de France as being like "Hell Week"; l'Alpe d'Huez time trial, the difficult stage to le Grande Bornand and the final TT in Besancon. Which one will have the most impact on the outcome of the Tour?
LA: It's too early to say now, because whatever happens in the Pyrenees will condition what happens in the Alps. First we finish in Villard de Lans and then l'Alpe d'Huez TT and the day after. l'Alpe dHuez is very hard. Long stage, long in terms of hours as well because it's a lot of climbing. [Then] perhaps what happens... the time people gain in l'Alpe d'Huez... the riders that would typically gain time in l'Alpe d'Huez would lose time in Besancon. A guy like Mayo gains a minute [on l'Alpe d'Huez], he's going to lose that and some in Besancon. Sixty kilometres is the longest [TT] that I've ever personally done, I think. And it's a challenging course... it's going to be a struggle.
[In the 2000 Tour the Fribourg-Mulhouse TT was 58.5km; in 2004 the Besancon TT is 55km. - Ed]
Ullrich has also said he's focused on the Besancon time trial, which comes on the 2nd-to-last day of the Tour. That makes it key since it's very hard for a contender to get away on the flat last day, which traditionally is one for the sprinters.
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