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July 28, 2004

Samuel Abt's Tour roundup

IHT.com | A peek into what makes a 6-time Tour champion

Samuel Abt offers his wrapup, focusing on Armstrong's preparations for the Tour.

Abt also offers an explanation for the disappearance of Armstrong's rainbow cuffs this year:

Just before his 22nd birthday in 1993, Armstrong won the world championship road race in Oslo. That gave him, like all world champions, the right in perpetuity to wear rainbow stripes on the short sleeves of his team jersey.

Wear them he did, until this year, when that badge of honor was replaced by two red stripes sandwiching a white one. Everybody on the team wore those stripes, which signify nothing.

Asked about this, Armstrong explained that the rainbow stripes clashed with the new ones. He implied that he had dropped the rainbow stripes as a fashion statement. Put another way, he no longer needed to remind other riders or spectators that he had been a world champion. That was the past.

In the present, he was riding for a sixth victory in the Tour de France, now achieved. He was saying, perhaps unconsciously, that there are many former world champions, but only one man on his way to a Tour record, and that is how he wanted to be perceived.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 28, 2004 | Permalink


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...or maybe the rainbows really just did clash with the red-white-red ones. ;)

Re. the red-white-reds, perhaps he's intending to actually earn those by winning the Tour of Austria next year?

Posted by: Eric the Red at Jul 28, 2004 11:42:39 AM

Was this issue really worthy of a story?

Posted by: Larry at Jul 28, 2004 12:09:05 PM

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