2003 Tour De France

The 2003 Tour de France started and ended in Paris. Lasting from July 5 to July 27 the race covered 3,427.5 km (2129.75 mi), proceeding clockwise in twenty stages around France, including six major mountain stages. Due to the centennial celebration, this edition of the tour was raced entirely in France and did not enter neighboring countries.

In the centenary year of the race the route recreated, in part, that of 1903. There was a special Centenaire Classement prize for the best-placed in each of the six stage finishes which match the 1903 tour - Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes and Paris. It was won by Stuart O'Grady, with Thor Hushovd in second place. The 2003 Tour was honored with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sport.

Of the 198 riders the favorite was again Lance Armstrong, aiming for a record equalling fifth win. Before the race, it was believed that his main rivals would include Iban Mayo, Aitor González, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, Gilberto Simoni, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki but Armstrong was odds-on favorite. Though he did go on to win the race, it is statistically, and by Armstrong's own admission, his weakest Tour from his seven-year period of dominance over the race.

In August 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency recommended the disqualification of Lance Armstrong from all his results since 1998; in October 2012 the Union Cycliste Internationale has agreed to this action. Having been stripped of the win owing to his use of banned substances, Lance Armstrong's win, his fifth of 7 consecutive wins and the most in Tour history, no longer applies; therefore there was no official winner of the 2003 Tour De France.

Read more about 2003 Tour De France:  Participating Teams, Overview, Stages, Results

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