Tour de France Begins July 3- Lance Armstrong's Last
97th Tour de France Begins July 3
The Tour de France begins July 3 with the Grand Start in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Tour ends in Paris on July 25. Will Lance Armstrong be able to add an eighth title to his record? Will Alberto Contador repeat 2009's victory? Contador doesn't even pick Contador as a favorite,a t least not publicly, though cycling fans disagree.
At age 38, Lance Armstrong announced that this will be his last Tour de France. He rides for Team Radio Shack as part of what his camp is calling "Comeback 2.0". Armstrong crashed out of the 2010 Tour of California in the fifth stage, breaking his collarbone.
- Floyd Landis Doping Scandal: Accuses Lance Armstrong of Drug Use
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This will be Lance Armstrong's 13th Tour de France; he has won the event seven times.
The spectre of a doping scandal is once more looming over the sport, where stories of cheating have eclipsed the actual racing.
Besides performance enhancers and blood doping, Tour officials will also be on the lookout for "mechanical doping" after Fabian Cancellara was accused of using a Gruber Assist (seatpost-mounted electric motor) in the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix.
Cancellara was never actually investigated, but Tour de France officials are convinced that mechanical doping is real. No word on why it's called "mechanical doping" and not "mechanical assistance". On the issue, Cancellara said, "It's so stupid, I'm speechless."
At any rate, the UCI will be on the lookout for motor assistance in this year's Tour de France.
And yes, this will be final Tour de France. It's been a great ride. Looking forward to 3 great weeks.
This will be no sentimental victory lap for Armstrong, who un-retired in 2009 after a three-and-a-half year absence from the sport, then rode to third place at the Tour last July.