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2003 Tour De France

If you ask most bicycle racing fans, they will tell you that the not one tour de France was more exciting than the one that occurred in 2003 starting with the 14th stage. Two hundred and fifty thousand fans crowded along the narrow paths, known as switch backs, that rises to the very top of the Luz-Ardiden. This is the peak that looms for about a mile above the Basque region of the French Pyrenees.

Along the cliffs, the crowd was jammed solid on the edge of each precipice. They were right on the slender blacktop that directed it to the finish of the 15th stage of the 2003 Tour de France. They were awaiting the arrival of the 162 bicycle riders who had started out the day�s racing within the southwest France flatlands hours before. Being that the Tour de France doesn�t take place in an arena or stadium, it extends to the same terrain and roads that a multitude of spectators travel daily to arrive at their houses and places of employment. Three weeks of the Tour de France becomes a lifetime the casual racing fan can hardly forget.

American superstar cyclist, Lance Armstrong, was expected to glide to his fifth consecutive win. However, he didn�t complete without a bout with �the struggles�. His rival, German cyclist Jan Ullrich had shocked the powerhouse from Texas several days earlier by defeating Armstrong in an unforgettable, against-the-watch time trial, tarnishing Armstrong�s golden aura of undeniable invincibility. As the race reached the Pyrenees, Lance Armstrong was struggling to maintain the slim lead, a quick 15 seconds, after about two weeks and one thousand � miles of cycling.

Enduring most of the race shoulder to shoulder, Armstrong and Ullrich�s rivalry had started earlier in the day through small villages, as they were zipping along past vineyards and farmsteads. Later during the 14th state, Armstrong caught his handlebar in the purse of a gung-ho spectator. He pivoted prior to his fall, but then rose quickly. He mounted on bicycle as he appeared uninjured, but he lost precious race time and psychological composure. Armstrong�s chance of victory was in serious jeopardy.

Lance Armstrong started the 15th stage of centennial Tour de France displaying signs of weakness. His whole race was in question. However, being the true champion that he is, Armstrong was neither finished nor consumed against Ullrich and the other competitors. Armstrong preserved and found his second wind reservoir in his soul.

Nearly a minute ahead of Ullrich, Armstrong crossed the finish line in the midst of thunderous applause on the mountaintop. Rarely smiling during the race�s first two weeks, he finally had plenty to smile about. He still had five days to go, but Armstrong did end up the victor once again. Hardly an individual thought his win was surprising after he�d defeated the mountains, his rivals and the pain and mastered himself. Now, that�s the Tour de France. To find out further information about the best deals on bicycles, log visit http://www.OnlineBikeDeals.com

Submitted by:

James Brown

James Brown writes about Online Bikes, Racks and Coupon Codes.


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