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AMERICAN TEAM DOING FAIRLY WELL IN THIS YEAR’S TOUR DE FRANCE

SHARE AMERICAN TEAM DOING FAIRLY WELL IN THIS YEAR’S TOUR DE FRANCE

The only American team in this year's Tour de France is making a strong showing.

A stage win here, a third-place team effort there and more than a couple of riders in a number of breakaways have given this year's Motorola team a lot of attention for now."In general we came to the Tour de France well-prepared," Jim Ochowitz, the team's general manager, said. "We had a good game plan going in. We kept our sights focused on day-to-day activity. We tried not to think about Paris when we were still in Normandy."

In 1985, the team became the first American-based squad to compete on the European racing circuit. One year later, it became the first U.S. team in the Tour de France, winning a stage with Davis Phinney.

The Motorola team briefly had the overall lead in the team division following a third place in the team time trial. It also had top individual performances, including an eighth stage win by Lance Armstrong July 11.

He was pulled out of the Tour following the two days in the Alps when he fell more than 55 minutes behind in two days.

Alvaro Mejia, a Colombian who was signed in April, was second following the Alps, with team veteran, Andy Hampsten, also in the top 10.