By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Saint Etienne
One thing US President George W. Bush and his opponent in the 2004 US residential race, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry have in common is cycling. Both Bush and Kerry are avid cyclists, although Kerry is more inclined towards road cycling. Cyclingnews briefly caught up with Senator Kerry in the Village Depart in Saint Etienne. He was accompanied by Floyd Landis's coach Alan Lim on his way to meet the Phonak rider.
"I just arrived at the Tour today and it's very exciting for me," Kerry said. "I've been a cycling fan for many, many years and a participant in cycling all my life. I've followed the Tour from a distance for a long time so being here is very special."
We asked Kerry if he came specifically to support Lance Armstrong in his final countdown towards his 7th straight Tour win. He explained that "I came to celebrate what I think has been an extraordinary career of Lance and it's one of the greatest sporting accomplishments of all time. We have a great stable of American riders now; I'm here talking to the coach of Floyd Landis, for example. Floyd worked for Lance for a long time; remember those mountain stages in the Tour last year. He's had a lot of help from a lot of good American riders."
We were astounded to hear that Kerry had time to follow the Tour De France in the midst of his presidential campaign last year. He revealed that "every night in July during the campaign, I got my tape of the Tour!"
Kerry rode behind Armstrong in his final Tour TT in an ASO car, as it was Armstrong's friend and foundation chairman Jeff Garvey who was alongside Johan Bruyneel in the Discovery Channel team car.