Stage win important for Armstrong

"Lance wants to win a stage in this last Tour," Discovery Channel's Dirk de Mol has told the Belgian media. "For sure. He'll definitely be going for it in the coming days."

"It's true that Lance puts everything on the Tour, but you just can't compare cycling with the racing of the times of Merckx. Racing is very different now. Uphill, Lance has had no weak moments. That's because he knows his own power, his limits, strength and his body like no other rider. That really is something to be admired."

De Mol plays down speculation that stage 15 winner George Hincapie can fill Armstrong's shoes. "There's been a lot of talk about Hincapie following in Lance's footsteps as a TdF winner. While it's not realistic to think that George could win the Tour; he certainly can make the top 10. To ask for more is out of the question."

"George has got a big motor and he can handle big training rides and one-day classics, and smaller stage races. But he is the type of rider that doesn't get better during those long training camps we have. Lance does, but Hincapie is not the same rider."

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