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Armstrong, Ullrich Ready to Battle in Tour de France


Cycling's premier event, the Tour de France, gets under way Saturday with six-time champion Lance Armstrong of the United States vying for an unprecedented seventh straight title.

Armstrong rides for the Discovery team this year, after winning his first six titles with the U.S. Postal Service team. However, many of the riders on Discovery - including George Hincapie and Spain's Jose Luis Rubiera - have ridden with Armstrong before.

The Discovery Channel team's sports manager, Johan Bruyneel, said the roster - with only two new members - brings experience and familiarity to Armstrong's final Tour. The American has said he will not race in the Tour after this year.

One of Armstrong's chief rivals - German Jan Ullrich - suffered cuts and bruises in a training race Friday when he crashed into a support car. Ullrich is expected to ride in Saturday's opening stage, a 19-km individual time trial from Fromentine to Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile. The race ends in Paris July 24.

Some information for this report provided by AP

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