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In a country of cycling fans, Lance is central

Updated: July 24, 2004, 4:25 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- As Lance Armstrong races toward unheard-of Tour de France glory, France is torn. Many resent a brash Texan muscling in on their beloved cycling classic. But how can you hate such a champ?

"Face it, the man is amazing," Sebastian Bizeul, a medical technician, put it. He reflected a broad national sentiment. Of course, he'd prefer to see a Frenchman on top, he said. But it's a fair fight.

Barring some mishap, Armstrong is expected to win his sixth Tour de France victory ...

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