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Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - — Suzanne Hal­libur­ton

and team­mate An­dreas Klö­den in an alpine stage.

Arm­strong is now the lead rider of Team Ra­dioShack, drawn largely from last year’s As­tana squad. Con­ta­dor has no holdover team­mates from last year, with many for­mer team­mates now rid­ing in sup­port of Arm­strong.

Con­ta­dor’s main lieu­tenant will be Alexan­dre Vi­nok­ourov, who is com­ing back to the Tour de France af­ter serv­ing a two-year sus­pen­sion for dop­ing. Vi­nok­ourov, a for­mer podium fin­isher, is a bit of a wild card at the Tour. As­tana was cre­ated to fea­ture Vi­nok­ourov, un­til his sus­pen­sion de­railed those plans.

“My re­la­tion­ship with Alexan­dre Vi­nok­ourov is ex­cel­lent,” Con­ta­dor said Fri­day. “We fully trust reach other.

“Noth­ing that hap­pened last year can hap­pen with Vino. It is ex­tremely im­por­tant to have a united team, es­pe­cially off the road, be­cause we are go­ing to spend a month to­gether away from home.”

While at­tend­ing the teams pre­sen­ta­tion on Thurs­day, Arm­strong asked the gath­ered fans why it was so hot, af­ter tem­per­a­tures soared into the 90s. That was 15 to 20 de­grees above av­er­age.

Tem­per­a­tures are ex­pected to drop 10 to 15 de­grees by to­day, when the Tour opens with the pro­logue. There also will be a de­cent chance of rain.

The pro­logue will be staged on wide, flat roads, so if the rains hold off, ex­pect fast times.

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