June 08, 2005
Armstrong: “Leipheimer is the favorite”
Two-time Dauphiné Libéré winner Lance Armstrong says he's not likely to make it three.
"No, Leipheimer is the favourite to win," Armstrong when asked if his bid to win a third Dauphine was now launched.
Armstrong is third in the general classification at 30secs behind Leipheimer and 18 behind Botero, and warned: "He (Leipheimer) doesn't have the team to win. I shouldn't say that, but with the stages to come he'll need some strong climbers to support him.
As for Leipheimer, he says he's taking it day by day, prepping for a Tour de France where he wants "to finish in the top five. With a little bit of luck I can finish on the podium."
Leipheimer said he's eyeing the Tour's last time trial, in Saint-Etienne on Stage 19 July 23rd, as a stage he can win.
So is Armstrong just downplaying his condition? There's still a ton of miles, many of them uphill, on this Dauphiné, and 30 seconds either way is not that much right up through the last big climb of the Dauphiné, Saturday on the Col de Jeux-Plane.
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