what they say: attack
what they mean: a rider has charged off the front of the peloton -
tour riders to watch
lance armstrong (united states)
team: united states postal service
why he matters: six years ago, armstrong was given a one in two chance of living. today, he’s the best cyclist in the world.
erik zabel (germany)
why he matters: zabel is the world’s most consistent sprinter.
stuart o'grady (australia)
team: credit agricole
why he matters: after being denied his first green jersey (for best sprinter) on the final stage of last year’s race, o’grady is hungrier than ever. with a little luck, he’ll end zabel’s reign.
richard virenque (france)
why he matters: the dashing frenchman is one of the best climbers in the world. though his time trailing skills are too weak to make him an overall threat, when the road tilts up, watch for him to make the race.
levi leipheimer (united states)
why he matters: a former teammate of armstrong’s, leipheimer emerged from the shadows to take third in last year’s tour of spain. american fans now have good reason to hope for two podium spots at this year’s tour de france. —