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Tour Director Says Fans Spat At Armstrong

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Guest obby

Tour de France director Jean Marie-Leblanc admitted Wednesday that he saw fans spit at Lance Armstrong during the first-ever time trial to historic L'Alpe d'Huez.

"There were lots of aggressive fans surrounding the riders and I even saw two idiots spit at Lance Armstrong," Leblanc told Reuters. "Unfortunately I doubt you can put barriers on the 14 kilometers of the climb.

"Until this morning, everybody thought this time trial was a good idea and now we realized it was not so."

Armstrong finished the 9.6-mile climb through 21 hairpin turns to the L'Alpe d'Huez ski station in 39 minutes, 42 seconds - the only rider under 40 minutes. It was the first time Tour organizers organized an individual race against the clock on the legendary climb.

"I wanted it bad because of the history around this mountain and the importance to the race. All in all, it was a very important day," Armstrong said. "Lots of emotion, lots of adrenaline."

At the bottom of the climb, crowds completely covered the road, parting only at the very last second as riders hurtled toward them. Some fans ran alongside the bicycles, waving flags that came close to catching handlebars or wheels. Others were slow to move aside, forcing riders to swerve.

Police motorcyclists rode in front of the racers, sirens blaring, parting the crowds somewhat. But every moment still seemed to be an accident waiting to happen.

"The crowds were animated, I should say," said Armstrong, who complained in particular about German fans. "Although I enjoyed my day, I still think it's a bad idea to have a time trial on this mountain."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Guest JMT

the french suck. lance needs to watch out, he may get attacked now that he is locking in on the record setting win. this is one of the greatest athletic achievements we will see in our lifetime.

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Guest dino

Screw the French. They can't take the fact that an American is going to win their tourmament for the 6th strait time. They are against us in so many ways now, that this just pisses them off.

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