The 100th edition of the Tour de France begins Saturday, just days after 1997 winner Jan Ullrich became the latest to admit blood doping -- joining cycling's brightest-ever star, Lance Armstrong, on the list of tainted athletes. Also noteworthy for 2013: the absence of injured 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins. But all is not lost for cycling fans -- this still is the sport's premier event, and an intriguing two-man battle at the top could make for a memorable race on a special anniversary.
Looking at 2013
Defending winner Bradley Wiggins is out, but Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Tejay van Garderen (left) and Cadel Evans (right) are among the big names in this year's field.
Lance Armstrong captured the nation's -- and world's -- attention for seven straight years, and the event hasn't been without its big names since Armstrong stopped racing.
Some believe the race might simply come down to favorite Chris Froome (left) and two-time champion Alberto Contador.
Defending champion Bradley Wiggins, Britain's first Tour de France winner, will miss this year's race with an injury.
Who better to enjoy the sport's top event than avid cyclists?
In a recent interview, Lance Armstrong insisted he still should be considered Tour de France winner from 1999 to 2005. "No one has manifested to claim my jerseys," he said.
New team sponsor Belkin recently vowed "zero tolerance" for doping, which has pushed several sponsors out of the sport.