June 28, 2004
Heras interviewed on Tour
Roberto Heras looks to me like the dark horse Tour contender. His Liberty Seguros team has concentrated on events around Spain, skipping the Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse in favor of the Euskal Bizikleta and Volta Catalunya.
Heras won the Euskal this year, and just before that race, sat down for an interview with Cyclingnews.com. He discusses perennial runner-up Manolo Saiz, his new team director; a few changes Saiz has made to improve Heras' riding; and Heras predicts that Armstrong, Ullrich, Mayo, and Gilberto Simoni are men to watch, and "I am also amongst those that weigh into the mix, within the group that comes after Lance. After Lance, well, there comes the rest of us."
Heras echoed the prevailing sentiment, that we'll see a very competitive Tour:
CN: The Tour route this year is a little different isn't it? There are less mountains in one way, but there are also less flat stages, and then there is the time trial up L'Alpe d'Huez and the changes in rules to the team time trial whereby a team can only lose up to two minutes and thirty seconds. What effect do you think this will have?
RH: I think that the differences between the contenders will be much less than it has been in recent years: We should see a Tour that is much more open.
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