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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tour de France 2009

There's no doubt that the folks over at Versus are absolutely thrilled that Lance Armstrong is back in the Tour de France. There no doubt Armstrong's presence should boost ratings for the cable TV channel, and it also helps there will be six other Americans in the race.

The question, of course, is how well will Armstrong do. Is he capable of winning after spending three years away from the world's most prestigious bicycle race. My hunch is that if anyone is capable of pulling it off after such a long absence, it's Armstrong. However, Astana teammate and 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador is considered the favorite to win.

I guess we'll see what happens on the road. Versus' coverage of the Tour de France begins at 8:30 a.m. CDT with the Stage 1 time trial in Monaco. As been the case in recent years, Versus will air plenty of Tour de France coverage until the July 26 finale in Paris. Go to the full schedule for details; keep in mind that all times listed on the Versus schedule are Eastern Daylight Time.

Another Astana teammate, American Levi Leipheimer, has to be considered a contender for a podium spot, as could Illinois native Christian Vande Velde, who finished fourth last year then came back to the States to win the 2008 Tour of Missouri. George Hincapie back for another go, although it will be odd to see him not riding in support of Armstrong.

I probably won't write about the Tour in great detail, mainly because there's so many sources out there who can provide much more insightful coverage than I can, including Versus, VeloNews, Bicycling magazine and other news sources on the right column of my blog.

Have fun following the Tour!

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