Five in a row. It has never been done. Still, Miguel Indurain is favored to rewrite the 92-year-old history of the Tour de France over the next three weeks.
Standing in his way is Tony Rominger of Switzerland, who is reaching peak form at 34, and France’s Laurent Jalabert, who has become an all-round star since crashing out of last year’s Tour.
Today’s prologue will give an indication on who’s hot and who’s not, especially since it will be contested on an undulating 4.5-mile loop through this resort town.
Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, is not among the favorites and has set less lofty goals, too - finishing is most important.
His first two Tours ended with preplanned desertions halfway through.