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LeMond Not in Peak Form, but He’s Overcome That Before

From Associated Press

Can Greg LeMond do it again?

Last year, he made a stunning comeback on the final day to win the Tour de France for the second time.

But outside demands took their toll on LeMond during the winter, and a virus slowed his attempts to get back into shape.

As the 1990 race begins Saturday in a high-technology theme park called Futuroscope, LeMond, the only American to win the Tour de France, will be closely watched.

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“I feel good,” LeMond said. “Things are coming around just in time. I am not sure I am going to be turned around 100% for the Tour, but I will be there.”

Even a less-than-100% LeMond is dangerous. He has based his whole year on winning this race again.

His toughest competition could come from three other former champions--Stephen Roche of Ireland, Pedro Delgado of Spain, and France’s Laurent Fignon, a close second to LeMond last year.

LeMond, after winning in 1986, missed the next two years while recovering from an accidental shooting and various illnesses and ailments. He went into the Tour last year as a question mark and came out a winner.

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This year’s race starts with a prologue of four miles, a virtual sprint around the high-tech complex dotted with 360-degree movie theaters and video showrooms.

For the first week, relatively flat stages give the top positions to the sprinters. Then come the mountains, starting July 9.

Four days will be spent in the high mountains--two in the Alps and two in the Pyrenees.

The mountain rides start with a quick detour through Switzerland to Geneva before returning to France. It is a clockwise journey around France that stretches more than 2,125 miles.

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