he is capable of winning his sixth,? said the five times Tour de France champion in the Spanish newspaper, Marca. ?He could be the most consistent, and if he wins another Tour, the record will be his. But you can?t compare different eras. Eddy Merckx?s palmares remain superior to the rest, even including Bernard Hinault.? Armstrong himself was absent from yesterday?s La Primavera after contracting a slight bout of bronchitis during the week, preferring instead to rest before resuming his season next weekend in the French stage race, Criterium International. As if he hadn?t already won enough sport?s person of the year awards over the winter, the United States Olympic Committee made Armstrong their 2003 Sports man of the year during the week; an award he?s now received on four occasions.
Potential Tour challenger Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has this week spoken about the training and preparation that he has undergone in
Italy over the winter to help prepare him to ensure that he is able to ride at his maximum power in the tours time trials. The slight Basque said, ?I was really happy when I saw that the tour was going to include the Alpe d?Huez time trial. In a flat time trial I lose time but in this one I can be with the leaders. I?m very motivated for the stage and I think I can do well but there are still a lot of favorites. Lance Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki, Heras, Sevilla...? One name missed there by Mayo but which Italian Dr Michele Ferrari believes could again be up there in July is Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile). ?Vino is reaching his full athletic maturity and this year he seems even stronger than last year. He could be very dangerous at the Tour de France.? I don?t think you?ll find many people disagreeing with you there Michele. After his amazing displays in the Tour last year and then his three stage victories in this year?s Paris-Nice race, there?s no reason for us to doubt that the Kazakh will again be up there in the final standings in
Paris. It?ll be interesting to see if he can hold this form right through the season or, more importantly, re-discover it again in time for the race ? could it be that T-Mobile are shooting themselves in the foot by having this incredible rider so race ready and active at this early stage in the season?
Scottish cyclist and former world one-hour record holder, Graeme Obree, has confirmed that he will, once again, be making an attempt at the blue ribbon track event later this year attempting to surpass Chris Boardman?s athlete?s record of 49.441km. The 38-year-old will make his attempt on April 4 at the
Manchester velodrome. ?I started cycling again to feel good and the next thing I was feeling really strong and I just fancied giving myself a new goal. Part of my motivation for doing this is because last