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Lance Armstrong Aims for 5th Straight Tour de France Title Sunday - 2003-07-06


Four-time defending champion Lance Armstrong of the United States will be going for his fifth straight Tour de France title Sunday, when the world's most famous bicycle race begins in Paris.

Armstrong placed only seventh in Saturday's 6.5-kilometer prologue time trial, but none of his fellow cyclists are taking that as a sign the champion rider is off his pace.

The 31-year-old Texas native admitted he was a little disappointed with his time, but predicted things will change once the race begins.

Australia's Bradley McGee won the time trial, seven seconds ahead of Armstrong.

On Sunday, the cyclists will begin the first leg of the 23-day, 3,400 kilometer race, going from Paris, 168 kilometers east to the town of Meaux - the home of France's world famous Brie cheese.

The 198 cyclists will start off at the Le Reveil Matin Inn in Paris where the first Tour de France started in 1903.

The Tour comprises a clockwise circuit around France, from the French alps to the Pyrenees, to the Bordeaux coast and back to Paris.