Portuguese support for Lance

Hot on the heels of Euro 2004, the Tour de France became the focus of sporting interest from last Saturday. Portuguese José Azevedo will be cast as the main supporting actor in Lance Armstrong’s record-breaking attemptto win a sixth tour. His main rival, Jan Ullrich from Germany, will rely on Italian Guiseppe Guerini to set the pace. Spain’s Jose Luis Rubiera and Colombian Santiago Bolero will have their own ideas about who will lead the race in Paris, but it seems unlikely that anyone will be able to seriously challenge the two principals. If anything should go wrong, the three against the field may well be Texan Tyler Hamilton, Italian Ivan Basso and Spaniard Iban Mayo.