Former Dopers Looking for Glory in This Year's Tour de France

Most of the Lance Armstrong news today is about his Twitter announcement yesterday that this year's Tour de France will be his last. (A typical write-up, from the BBC.)

But with just a few days to the start of this year's three-week epic, there were some other items of interest...

Returning Tour champ Alberto Contador says he considers Lance Armstrong his 'most dangerous rival,' writes Cycling Weekly's Gregor Brown. Contador points specifically to the strength of Armstrong's team, which includes past Tour podium finishers Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden. Contador, meanwhile, has Alexandre Vinokourov on his side. The Kazakh cyclist is back after a blood doping suspension and has looked strong this season.

Speaking of dopers, after returning from a two-year drug suspension, Italian rider Ivan Basso won this year's Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy), and says he's serious about competing to win this year's Tour de France as well, writes Barry Ryan (cyclingnews.com).

Basso, of course, assures everyone that he's now riding clean as he attempts to be the first person in 12 years to win both the Giro and the Tour in a single year. That was last accomplished in 1998 by Italian cyclist Marco Pantani who, we now know, was doped the gills at the time.


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