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Tour de France


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# Day Date Daily Stages Winner
P Sat July 3 Prologue - Puy du Fou - 8km time trial Lance Armstrong
1 Sun 4 Montaigu - Challans. 209kms Jan Kirsipuu
2 Mon 5 Challans - Saint-Nazaire. 202kms Tom Steels
3 Tue 6 Nantes - Laval. 194kms Tom Steels
4 Wed 7 Laval - Blois. 191kms Mario Cipollini
5 Thu 8 Bonneval - Amiens. 228kms Mario Cipollini
6 Fri 9 Amiens - Maubeuge. 169kms Mario Cipollini
7 Sat 10 Avesnes-sur-Helpe - Thionville. 223kms Mario Cipollini
8 Sun 11 Metz. 56kms time trial [Julich Out After Crash] Lance Armstrong
R Mon 12 rest day  
9 Tue 13 Le Grand Bornand - Sestrieres (Italy).215kms Lance Armstrong
10 Wed 14 Sestrieres - L'Alpe d'Huez. 218kms Giuseppe Guerini
11 Thu 15 Le Bourg d'Oisans - Saint-Etienne. 199kms Ludo Dierckxsens
12 Fri 16 Saint-Galmier - Saint-Flour. 197kms David Etxebarria
13 Sat 17 Saint-Flour - Albi. 237kms Salvatore Commesso
14 Sun 18 Castres - Saint-Gaudens. 189kms Dimitri Konyshev
R Mon 19 rest day  
15 Tue 20 Saint-Gaudens - Piau-Engaly. 174kms Fernando Escartin
16 Wed 21 Lannemezan - Pau. 192kms David Etxebarria
17 Thu 22 Mourenx - Bordeaux. 184kms Tom Steels
18 Fri 23 Jonzac - Futuroscope. 182kms Gianpaolo Mondini
19 Sat 24 Futuroscope. 54.5kms time trial Lance Armstrong
20 Sun 25 Arpajon - Paris. 160kms Robbie McEwen

Tour de France facts and figures

Facts and figures of cycling's Tour de France: 

Last year's result: 
1. Marco Pantani (Italy) 
2. Jan Ullrich (Germany) 3 min 21 sec behind 
3. Bobby Julich (U.S.) 4:08 
4. Christophe Rinero (France) 9:16 
5. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands) 11:26 

Last winners: 
1998 - Marco Pantani (Italy) 
1997 - Jan Ullrich (Germany) 
1996 - Bjarne Riis (Denmark) 
1995 - Miguel Indurain (Spain) 
1994 - Indurain 
1993 - Indurain 
1992 - Indurain 
1991 - Indurain 
1990 - Greg LeMond (U.S.) 
1989 - LeMond 
1988 - Pedro Delgado (Spain) 
1987 - Stephen Roche (Ireland) 
1986 - LeMond 
1985 - Bernard Hinault (France) 
1984 - Laurent Fignon (France) 
1983 - Fignon 
1982 - Hinault 
1981 - Hinault 
1980 - Zoetemelk 
1979 - Hinault 

King of the Mountains: 
1998 - Christophe Rinero (France) 
1997 - Richard Virenque (France) 
1996 - Virenque 
1995 - Virenque 
1994 - Virenque 
1993 - Tony Rominger (Switzerland) 
1992 - Claudio Chiappucci (Italy) 
1991 - Chiappucci 
1990 - Thierry Claveyrolat (France) 
1989 - Gert-Jan Theunisse (Netherlands) 

Points winners: 
1998 - Erik Zabel (Germany) 
1997 - Zabel 
1996 - Zabel 
1995 - Laurent Jalabert (France) 
1994 - Djamolidin Abdoujaparov (Uzbekistan) 
1993 - Abdoujaparov 
1992 - Jalabert 
1991 - Abdoujaparov 
1990 - Olaf Ludwig (Germany) 
1989 - Sean Kelly (Ireland) 

Most victories: 
5 - Jacques Anquetil (France) 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 

Eddy Merckx (Belgium) 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974 

Bernard Hinault (France) 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985 

Miguel Indurain (Spain) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 

Most victories by country: 
France - 36 (last winner Hinault in 1985) 
Belgium - 18 (Lucien Van Impe 76) 
Italy - 9 (Pantani 98) 
Spain - 8 (Indurain 95) 
Luxembourg - 4 (Charly Gaul 58) 
United States - 3 (LeMond 90) 
Switzerland - 2 (Hugo Koblet 51) 
Netherlands - 2 (Joop Zoetemelk 80) 
Ireland - 1 (Stephen Roche 87) 
Denmark - 1 (Riis 96) 
Germany 1 - (Ullrich 97) 

Most stage victories: 
34 - Merckx 
28 - Hinault 
25 - Andre Leducq (France) 
22 - Andre Darrigade (France) 
20 - Nicolas Frantz (Luxembourg) 

Most Tours started: 
16 - Zoetemelk 
15 - Van Impe, Guy Nulens (Belgium) 
14 - Darrigade, Raymond Poulidor (France), Kelly 
13 - Phil Anderson (Australia), Joachim Agostinho (Portugal), Gerrie
Knetemann (Netherlands), Henk Lubberding (Netherlands), Jean Dotto
(France), Jean-Pierre Genet (France), Francois Mahe (France),
Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (France).

OLN & CBS - Tour de France 2001

Stamford, Connecticut, July 29, 1999 (Bloomberg) -- Cable television's Outdoor Life Network said it bought the rights to show the Tour de France in the U.S. in a multimillion-dollar pact. 

Outdoor Life outbid Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, which has carried the bicycle race nine of the past ten years, for the contract that gives it exclusive television rights beginning in 2001. Outdoor Life is owned by Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications Inc., News Corp.'s Fox and MediaOne Group Inc. 

The company wouldn't say how long the contract is for or how much it's paying. 

Outdoor Life plans to show six hours of Tour coverage a day, including live morning coverage and highlights on FOX Sports Net. The channel will also provide footage for three-hour Tour specials on the CBS television network. 

This year's Tour made headlines in the U.S. as Lance Armstrong became the second American to win the event. The race's finish Sunday drew a 2.7 overnight rating, and the Tour's biggest American TV audience since 1993. 

Outdoor Life is a 24-hour channel that covers outdoors events including alpine sports and cycling. 

Armstrong's example cures doping plague

By Francois Thomazeau

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - Cycling, on the verge of collapse only a year ago, could not have dreamt of a better saviour than Lance Armstrong, who became only the second American to win the Tour de France on Sunday.

``What better symbol can we have for our sport than a born-again rider winning the Tour,'' said French Cycling Federation president Daniel Baal, who was charged then cleared in the Festina doping scandal which rocked last year's Tour.

Cycling has been trying hard this summer to cure the disease which had plagued it for years -- doping.

Last year's Festina scandal so stunned the world of cycling that Armstrong's feats raised doubts and suspicions. Minute traces of corticoids were found in the Texan's urine during a dope test on this Tour but doping allegations were quickly dismissed.

``I'm afraid it (doping allegations) is a burden all Tour winners in years to come will have to bear,'' Armstrong said.

Last year, doctors made headlines on the Tour for the wrong reasons. Doctors of the Festina, ONCE and TVM teams were held on doping charges.

The role of medicine this year was a much more positive one.

``My victory is a miracle, a miracle of medicine,'' said Armstrong who has famously recovered from testicular cancer.

Close friends said Armstrong had always been a gifted rider and his cancer had only delayed his rise to the top.

``Lance is unique and his mental strength is what makes the difference,'' said Johan Bruyneel, director of Armstrong's U.S. Postal team.

American Frankie Andreu, Armstrong's team mate since the start of his career six years ago, said his strong character had helped him to get over cancer and also win the Tour.

Armstrong's victories in the three time trials and his impressive performance in the mountains with a superb stage win in Sestriere placed the American alongside some of the greatest athletes in the sport, such as Miguel Indurain and Bernard Hinault.

An obvious comparison has been made with Greg LeMond, the first American to win cycling's showcase event in 1986.

LeMond returned from a near-fatal hunting accident in 1987 to win two more Tours in 1989 and 1990.

It is impossible to know whether Armstrong is strong enough to win more Tours but cycling fans will be eager to see him compete in years to come with Italian Marco Pantani and German Jan Ullrich, the two previous Tour winners, who both missed the race this year.

Armstrong had little opposition in this Tour, even though second-placed Swiss Alex Zuelle and Spanish climber Fernando Escartin, who was third, completed an ideal podium for the organizers.

By finishing second, as in 1995, Zuelle completed his comeback after he was kicked out of last year's race with the rest of the Festina team for doping.

This year, the former Vuelta winner said he was feeling even stronger since he had stopped taking banned products.

Escartin is a typical example of a hard-working, softspoken rider, long overshadowed by more glamorous leaders, who was at last allowed to come to the limelight.

Frenchman Richard Virenque was allowed to compete by the International Cycling Union (UCI) against the will of the organizers and won a record fifth King of the mountains title, finishing fifth overall.

Throughout the race, cheering French crowds showed they had forgiven Virenque, who had become a symbol of doping in cycling as last year's Festina team leader.

Armstrong dedicates win to ``cancer community''

By Francois Thomazeau

FUTUROSCOPE, France, July 24 (Reuters) - American Lance Armstrong, within sight of victory in the Tour de France, dedicated his probable success to the ``cancer community'' on Saturday.

``I always said that 50 percent of what I achieved would go to the cancer community -- survivors, doctors, researchers,'' he said after winning the penultimate stage of the most famous cycle race in the world.

``Twenty five percent is for myself and my team and 25 goes to the people who did not believe in me'' added the 27-year-old Texan, who fought off a near-fatal cancer of the testicles two years ago.

Armstrong, who was the youngest professional road world champion in 1993, returned a stronger rider after his disease and he said cancer had helped him in a way.

``The illness was a good thing for me. Of course I wouldn't want to get back there. But in a way I would not change a thing,'' he said. ``The illness made me come back with a new perspective.''

When he returned last year after about 18 months out of action, he was a changed rider.

Before his cancer, the American was simply gifted, winning effortlessly like in Oslo in 1993 or when he finished second of his first World Cup race, the Clasica San Sebastian in 1992.

``Before, I trained hard and I tried to be professional but I did not deserve a 100 mark,'' he said.

``After the illness, I did make it back and I trained much harder than before and I eliminated distractions and watched my diet,'' he added.

Extra motivation also came from those who did not believe he could make it back. When his cancer was discovered, Armstrong had just signed with French team Cofidis, who did not renew his contract a year later.

``When I was in the middle of my illness, three months later, they tried to break the contract,'' he said.

``I thought about the teams who did not believe I could make it back, I can tell you I thought about them in the last three weeks, and I can tell them now that I won the Tour,'' he added.

When Greg LeMond won his second Tour in 1989 on return to competition after a serious hunting accident, he also had to find a team, Belgian outfit Agrigel, after the major squads let him down.

``The only team I want to name is U.S. Postal, because they took me on and it's very special to be able to share this victory with them,'' Armstrong said.

The American, who has signed for U.S. Postal until 2001, also fired a shot at those who claimed his comeback had been aided by illegal drugs.

``I didn't expect to win the Tour de France,'' he said. ``I'm happy now, and the speculation and innuendo that has been going on is minor.

``The speculation touched maybe a million people but what Lance Armstrong did is going to give hope to a hundred million people,'' he added.

``I did the hard work and whether they believe me or not, I'm a happy man,'' added the American who started a foundation which bears his name to help cancer research.

Armstrong set for lap of honor

By Francois Thomazeau

FUTUROSCOPE, France, July 23 - Tour de France organisers could hardly dream of a more fitting climax to their last race before the year 2000 than a rider using the very latest high-tech equipment winning a time trial in the Futuroscope science theme park near Poitiers.

Lance Armstrong, who calls himself a "miracle of medicine", is clear favourite for the last significant stage on Saturday -- a 57 km solo ride against the clock.

The American, who has fought off cancer, leads Spanish climber Fernando Escartin by six minutes 15 seconds heading into the trial, to be held on a flat and easy course.

The gap should be even wider after the 19th and penultimate test as Escartin has never been at his best in such events.

Armstrong, winner of the two individual time trials in this year's Tour -- the prologue and a hilly 56 km stage in Metz two weeks ago -- looks unbeatable.

His one slight concern might be that this is the only course he has not inspected closely.

Although past races have often visited Futuroscope, Armstrong has never raced there. The last time trial to take place around it, in 1987, was won by eventual winner Stephen Roche of Ireland.

With a 7:28 advantage over third-placed Swiss Alex Zuelle, the closest time trial specialist to him in the overall standings, the American could choose to take it easy on Saturday.

For Zuelle, winning the last trial of the Tour would be some consolation, especially as he looks strong enough to bridge his 1:13 deficit on Escartin.

If he did, the Banesto team leader would be second for the second time since 1995, when he was runner-up to Spain's Miguel Indurain.

Zuelle would also make some amends for last year when he and his Festina team were kicked out of the Tour in the drugs scandal.

Armstrong says he was persecuted by press

By Francois Thomazeau

PAU, France, July 21 - Tour de France leader Lance Armstrong, cleared of doping allegations by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Wednesday, said he had been persecuted by "vulture journalists".

The American said he had used a cream containing a banned corticoid to cure a skin allergy and that he had a medical prescription to do so.

"I was using a cream which showed minute traces in my urine, so minute that they were not there on day one," said Armstrong, replying to a report by French daily Le Monde that corticoid traces were found in his urine.

Le Monde said the test took place after the first stage on July 4. The Texan was also tested after winning the prologue a day before.

"If Le Monde wants to call it a doping story they can but it is not a doping story," the 27-year-old said.

He added that there were more journalists than usual on the Tour this year because they were chasing doping stories after last year's scandal, which brought cycling's showcase event close to collapse.

"It's vulture journalism, it's desperate journalism. I've been persecuted," he said.

"The traces were so small that it has nothing to do with enhancing performances. It's bad for cycling, it's bad for the Tour de France," he added.

In its report, Le Monde accused Armstrong of lying because he repeatedly said he was not taking any products, banned or not.

"I was asked if I had been given an exception by the UCI to take anything and I said no.

"When I think of taking something, I think of pills, injections. Quite honestly, I did not consider a skin cream to be taking something," he said.

Armstrong, who is set to win the Tour only two years after cancer threatened not only his career but his life, said the controversy had given him extra motivation.

"What they (the press) wanted was for me to crack on the bike, I was not going to do that for them," he said.

The UCI earlier confirmed that corticoid traces were found in Armstrong's urine on July 4.

But the governing body added he had a medical prescription to use the cream for a skin allergy. The cream contains the banned corticoid triamcinolone.

"We can confirm that all dope tests made during the Tour de France until July 19 were negative," the UCI said in a statement.

Normally, when a test is negative or when an athlete produces a prescription for corticoid, the results of the test are not published.

"But at the request of Lance Armstrong and his team and because of the exceptional situation created by some media, the UCI wishes to make an exception and to confirm that the rider has used Cemalyt cream (which contains triamcinolone) to cure an allergic dermatitis," the UCI said.

The UCI added that the use of the cream was "authorized by the rules and can not be considered a doping practice".




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