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Tour de France- Discovery’s Blue Train goes Green 06.07.07


Levi discovers the
Tour is not all smiles

Lance Armstrong’s ex team Discovery Channel, the famous Blue Train, that dominated the peleton for so many years are going carbon neutral for this year’s Tour which starts in London on Saturday.

Lance Armstrong, who has won seven tours in a row, may no longer cycle for Discovery but the team remains one of the strongest on the field, this year it is lead by fellow American Levi Leipheimer.

In the second year without Lance the team tactics are lilley to be very different, the famous Blue Train of was formed when the team bunched up at the lead of the peleton to chase down breakaways and pull Lance up will not be in such evidence. Not last because this year the team had ditched their tradition blue racing colours and switched to green.

"It symbolizes an environmental awareness campaign with the team. Throughout the Tour, we are going to be off-setting all carbon emissions from team cars and we have other carbon-neutral programs," explained team spokesman PJ Rabice. "During the Tour, when someone from the team wins a stage or wears a jersey, we will be planting trees in a wooded area near Levi’s house in California." says team manager Bruyneel.

While cycling may be the greenest form of transport the tour itself is a huge affair, with a caravan of sponsors cars passing three hour in advance of the first riders, and fleets of team support cars, coaches, Tour de France officials, TV and radio crews in cars and on motor bikes, and a huge mobile police presence.

Discovery Team have decided that they will offset their fossil fuel usage by planting trees in the Mendocino Forest near team leader Levi Leipheimer’s home in California. In addition when they win stages or win one of the daily category jerseys, King of the Mountains, the green spring jersey, young rider or yellow jersey of the race leader, they will plant an additional 30 trees.

"I’m definitely 100 percent behind it. I really believe in it," said Levi Leipheimer "I’m out on my bike every day so I’m out there in nature and I really see the importance of trying to preserve it and I’m really proud of the fact that the team has started this environmental awareness campaign."

With a team comprising of George Hincapie, Lance Armstrongs loyal assistant, Yaroslav Popovych, Vladimir Gusev and Alberto Contador the team is expecting to bag a number of stage victories as well as being in with a fighting chance for the Yellow Jersey on the Champs d’Elysees in Paris on the last day.

The Tour de France starts in London on Saturday and finishes in Paris on the 29th July.

Peter Shield

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Le Tour de France Official website

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