10. Lance is not allowed to start the race. The Society decides on new Tour Qualification rules that clearly state that no non-French based team be allowed to start the tour with a better chance to win than a French team. US Postal, T-mobile, CSC, Kelme, Saeco, Phonak et al… are tossed out in favor of teams featuring French Amateurs and Former Pro’s. Cofidis are overjoyed when they have a winner by 2 minutes 10 seconds! The Society is outraged though, as it’s David Millar in Yellow…
9. Lance crashes into David Millar, who is stopped in the middle of a blind turn while trying to reattach his chain during the prologue in Liege. Lance is unable to continue. Determined not to make the same mistake twice, but just as determined to be different, David has disastrously chosen to forgo the use of a rear Derailleur. Erik Zabel wins the tour by 3 minutes having collected every single sprint bonus in the tour.
8. Lance is unable to finish stage 3 after being rammed into the barriers by Robbie McEwen, who mistakes Postal’s efforts to keep him at the front and out of danger on the sprint stages as a veiled threat from George Hincapie for the green Jersey.
7. Same deal as above, Only Lance survives the wreck only to suffer a 10 minute penalty from Jean Marie Leblanc after McEwen successfully argues that although he came 20 feet across the road and rammed their line up, they had no place being there in the first place. Lance loses by 2:31 to Alejandro Valverde – who immediately leaves Kelme for another team.
6. On stage three in Waterloo, the bunch is exploded into groups as all the French riders begin a series of foolish attacks in Honor of Napolean. It is part of a grand Plan amongst French teams and succeeds in putting so much pressure on Postal that Lance and the team are left decimated. David Millar, after a shock mid season transfer to Euskaltel, wins the GC by 1:38. The next closest Frenchman is 27th, with fully half of all French abandoning during the Waterloo stage.
5. On the first day in the mountains, Lance loses too much time after stopping by the road side and beating senseless a young fan waving a musette. Armstrong loses 11 minutes, while Oscar Sevilla goes on to win the stage by 2:14 from Jan Ullrich who also lost 11 minutes in an effort to make sure that the public agreed that he waited.
4. OR… On the first Day in the mountains Lance is caught in a pile up caused by a crash just as the group was catching an early break at the foot of the first Mountain. The crash was the result of Mario Cipollini (a late transfer to Credit Agricole and a member of the early break) ramming into the back of the car of Jean Marie Leblanc at 85kph and giving Jean Marie a severe case of whiplash (leBlanc is forced to withdraw and does not start next stage). Cipo goes on to win the stage on the Champs’ and states that Jean Marie should not be invited back next year if he can’t finish. Tyler Hamilton goes on to win by :32 (despite crashing 4 times) from Beloki (who is racing for 9 bucks a stage because he waited too long for Manolo Saiz to form a team and that was all the money Kelme had left over (Then he leaves Kelme immediately after the race).
3. On the second day in the mountains, Lance is accidentally taken out by Tyler Hamilton, who was crashing out of habit. Gilberto Simoni wins the Tour by 3 minutes from Jan Ullrich who didn’t wait a tick, but couldn’t stay with Gibo in the mountains. Note that the two also finished in the same order at the Giro.
2. On stage 10 Lance decides not to continue despite a 4-minute lead as an honorarium to Eddy Merckx. Merckx says it was a great gesture, but adds that he would have done it on stage 9. Alex Vinokurov wins by 6 minutes despite initially being behind Jan Ullrich by 2:10, as Jan again waited for 26 minutes to make sure Lance was really quitting.
1. Lance is attacked by a small group of men (A portly Belgian, a couple of French guys an extremely tall Spanish guy and a really skinny Ghost) on the Mountain TT. The group disperse (two of the attackers climb into a TDF vip car, one gets on a telecast chopper, one guy disappears into a huge pack of people wearing Orange t-shirts and the Ghost vanishes. Leaving Laurent Fignon to be caught struggling to steal the Aero bars off Lances TT rig). Roberto Heras wins the Tour by 1:30 over Marco Pantani.