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With or without Lance, fans will ride on

Updated: July 26, 2010, 4:59 PM ET
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

I watched Stage 17 of the Tour de France on a giant, inflated projection screen in a Seattle park on Thursday, surrounded by cyclists, parents and kids.

Under a starry sky, we saw Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck battle up the beyond-category Col du Tourmalet, riding through fog, around sheep, dodging fans dressed as the devil and a water bottle, passing Kazakhs both real (Alexandre Vinokourov) and fake (men in Borat costumes) and, ultimately, into cycling legend.

There ...

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