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Tour Notes

Andrew Hood

– Today’s stage – The 2003 Tour de France continues today with the 122.4-mile, 13th stage from Toulouse to Ax-3 Domaines, high in the French Pyreneees. The stage is the first of four hard climbing stages spread over five days, hitting the difficult Port de Pailheres with 18 miles to go and then heading up to the short but steep summit finish-line.

– Running out of water – A familiar sight in bicycle races is riders going back to the team car and fetching water bottles for teammates. So how could Armstrong run out of water in Friday’s time trial? During time trials, riders head out on the course one at a time without the help of teammates or support from team cars. Race rules allow riders to receive water bottles twice during a time trial, in part to keep them from taking illegal tows from team cars or slipping behind the car’s slipstream.

– Doping tests clear – Forty-two riders from six teams were tested Friday morning and cycling’s governing body, the UCI, declared no “unfit cases.” Riders’ blood and urine are regularly tested during the three-week Tour for the presence of banned performance-enhancing substances. So far, no rider has failed a doping test.


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