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Armstrong ready to conquer leTour course

By JESSICA FISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 31, 2001


Defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service Team) says he's looking forward to the 89th edition of leTour in July and that the new course is perfect for his 2002 European campaign.

Defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service Team) says he's looking forward to the 89th edition of leTour in July and that the new course is perfect for his 2002 European campaign.

Armstrong and "the Posties" have a plan.

They have made it clear they intend to help their team leader win his fourth yellow jersey. Armstrong and his wife, Kristin, will have a busy season. Twin baby girls are due in January, and by that time Armstrong will have enjoyed his last off-season salsa, chips and Shiner Bock in Austin, Texas.

Armstrong, who rides courses alone months before in preparation, says he is confident he will capture another victory.

The 6.5 kilometer prologue time trial will be in Luxembourg, and it is similar to the 1999 prologue at Le Puy du Fou. That stage was where Armstrong won his first yellow jersey.

For information on the U.S. Postal Service Team, go online to www.lancearmstrong.com.

MASTERS PAN AM GAMES: Local masters cyclists Scott Crowell, Earl Henry and Doug Reitz are packing their track bikes and U.S. national team uniforms for their return home this week after racing in the Masters Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba.

Crowell (Superdome/Plano Cycling), a St. Petersburg firefighter, won a bronze medal in the match sprint competition, and state track champion Reitz (West Coast Wheelmen), a St. Petersburg chiropractor, earned silver in the 3,000 meter.

Henry (West Coast Wheelmen), an electrical engineer from Pinellas Park, is most familiar with international cycling competition.

Henry, who just turned 60, captured several titles and medals this season.

He won at USA Cycling Masters Nationals in Washington, medaled at UCI World Track Championships in Manchester, England, and took the match sprint competition and 500 meter at the Masters Pan American Games in Cuba last week.

For information on international masters events, log onto www.veloresults.com.

FAT TIRE FEST: Wes Eubank of Temple Terrace and his SWAMP (Southwest Association of Mountain Bike Pedallers) Club are looking for volunteers to work trail access maintenance.

The club also is offering a one-day SWAMP Fat Tire Festival, which is scheduled for Sunday at the Alafia Rive State Park south of Brandon.

Alafia and Boyette trails will be the sites for the club's annual celebrations, which include guided rides for all levels, a bicycle swap meet, games, meals, entertainment, event T-shirts and factory demo bikes.

For mountain biking information, call Eubank, (813) 689-5109, or go online to www.SWAMPclub.org.

DIABETES CHALLENGE: Road riders will not want to miss Saturday's Diabetes Challenge, which begins 8 a.m. at Tampa Bay Baptist Conference Center, 15601 Lake Magdalene Blvd., in Tampa. Cyclists may choose 100-kilometer, 50-kilometer and 25-kilometer routes. All riders are welcome, and this is not a race, although helmets are required.

There is no fee. A donation to the American Diabetes Association is appreciated.

Olympic framebuilder Ben Serotta will join professional cyclist and mechanic Tony Prioli of Clearwater to work as tech support with free demo racing cycles. Serotta and Prioli will have a pre-ride lecture on proper bicycle fit and training Thursday at 7 p.m. To make a reservation, call Prioli, (727) 441-2444.

IRONMAN FLORIDA: The following area triathletes will compete in the Janus Ironman Florida Triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run) on Nov. 10 in Panama City Beach:

St. Petersburg's Bryan Bartlett, 36, Tom Bozich, 50, Patricia Brighton, 52, Laura Drake-Gullett, 33, a professional, Pete Dubbeld, 53, Angela Ezell, 28, Rod McDonald, 52, John Voorhis, 47; and David Weismantel, 35, and Jim Lettiero, 39, of St. Pete Beach.

From Tampa, Michael Bedke, 41, Brian Bolves, 43, Bobbi Lehoullier, 60, Michael Messina, 46, Kevin Norris, 40, professional Lara Shaw, 29, Scott Temples, 35, Janet Thompson, 55, Allen VonSpiegelfield, 53, Ann VonSpiegelfield, 40, and Diana Correa, 50; and David Linn, 35, of Temple Terrace.

From Lutz, Estuardo Alvarado, 39, Jeff Koehler, 51; Jose Docobo, 44, of Odessa; Anders Heidemann, 44, of Belleair; Adam Graetz, 27, and Lane Ziegler, 41, of Largo; Laura DeWitt, 40, of Brooksville; John Lorelle, 37, of Wesley Chapel; Douglas Stalley, 55, of Brandon; Blake Mora, 36, of Valrico; and Gene White, 52, of Clearwater.

For live race reports, go online to www.ironmanflorida.com.

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