July 21, 2004
Armstrong coach on Alpe d'Huez TT
Over at RoadCycling.com, Chris Carmichael gives an overview of the Wednesday time trial up Alpe d'Huez, the first in Tour de France history.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the top three riders were within 30 seconds, and the top five with one minute. Since the individual climbing abilities of the top riders are somewhat similar, the most critical task on Stage 16 may be avoiding having a bad day. If the scenario from the Stage 13 individual time trial last year had occurred on Alpe d’Huez, Lance Armstrong would most likely have lost five minutes or more. He is in better condition this year, and he is not suffering from chronic dehydration either, so I expect him to finish in the top three on Stage 16 and ride faster than several of his main rivals in the process.
Carmichael details Armstrong's pre-TT eating and warmup (including a special vest developed by Nike to "pre-cool" Armstrong), then covers the tactics Armstrong will use on the ride, considering the steeper lower part of the climb and the geography of the switchbacks.