Armstrong wins Tour de France - Bike Magic

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Armstrong wins Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has become only the second rider to win five consecutive Tours de France, matching the record of Miguel Indurain and boosting the membership of the very exclusive “five wins” club to five – Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault being the other three.

Armstrong didn’t have it all his own way, though. Jan Ullrich pushed him all the way, finishing just one minute and one second behind the Texan. And he’d probably have been closer had he not fallen in the Stage 19 time trial. It could all have been very different. But there’s “could have been” and “was”, and Armstrong was victorious once again.

Will he go for six? It certainly looks like it, but Ullrich’s been second behind Armstrong three times now – he’ll be trying harder than ever. The centenary Tour was one of the most dramatic in years, but the 2004 race is already shaping up to match it…

The drama wasn’t limited to the race for the yellow jersey. The sprinter’s green jersey went right to the line on the Champs Elysees, with Robbie McEwen only two points ahead of Baden Cooke going into the stage. Both riders were beaten to the line by stage winner Jean-Patrick Nazon, but it was Cooke who prevailed in the overall points standings, beating McEwen by just a couple of inches on the line and taking the green jersey.

Richard Virenque won his sixth King of the Mountains jersey, becoming the third rider to do so. And he won a stage and spent a day in the yellow jersey to boot. Not a bad effort…

All of which means that we can pick a winner in our Tour de France competition. Nearly everyone reckoned that Robbie McEwen would win the green jersey, so if you got all three jersey winners right you’re looking good to win a prize. We’ll pluck a name from the digital chapeau a little later.


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