Cycling / Tour de France: Star Gazing: eight riders to look out for on the British stages

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MIGUEL INDURAIN

(Team: Banesto)

Winner of the Tour in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and again one of the favourites this year. Second to Britain's Chris Boardman in the opening prologue time trial last Saturday. A time trial specialist and top-class climber, Indurain will be happy to finish with the main group on the English stages. Likely to make his first major move in next Monday's time trial in south-west France.

Rider number: 1

TONY ROMINGER

(Mapei-Clas)

Having finished second last year, the 33-year-old Swiss is again expected to offer the greatest challenge to Miguel Indurain. Like the Spaniard, Rominger is at his best in the mountains and in the time trials. His main concern today and tomorrow will be to ensure that none of the major contenders gain any time on him. A late starter in the sport, he did not begin racing until he was 21.

Rider number: 11

JOHANN MUSEEUW

(GB-MG)

Took the leader's maillot jaune in yesterday's team trial. As a top-class sprinter, the 28-year-old Belgian will be hoping to stay in yellow throughout the two days in England. Led the Tour for three days last year, although he has not won a stage since 1990. Does not have the all-round ability for overall victory, but has twice come close to winning the green jersey as most consistent finisher.

Rider number: 21

SEAN YATES

(Motorola)

Every Tour rider is keen to perform well on home ground and none will be more determined today than Yates, competing in his 10th Tour. Today's stage passes through his home town of Forest Row in Sussex and the 34-year-old Briton, although only a domestique in the Motorola team, seems certain to challenge in the stage. A fine rider in his own right, he won a stage in 1988.

Rider number: 39

CHRIS BOARDMAN

(GAN)

Became only the second Briton to wear the leader's yellow jersey when he won the prologue time trial on Saturday. Lost it in yesterday's team trial and is unlikely to regain it, although a bright future is predicted for the 25-year-old from Cheshire. Making his Tour debut, having turned professional last year. As an amateur won an Olympic gold medal and broke the world hour record.

Rider number: 82

LANCE ARMSTRONG

(Motorola)

Wears the rainbow jersey of the world road race champion, having won the title last year in what was his first full season as a professional. Also won a stage of the Tour last year and at the age of 22 is considered a possible future winner of the race. This year may still be too early for the Texan, but he is tipped to win at least one of the flatter stages - perhaps one of the two in England.

Rider number: 31

DJAMOLIDINE ABDOUJAPAROV

(Polti)

Wears the green jersey as leader in the points competition, which rewards the most consistent performer. A magnificent sprinter renowned for his all-action style, the 30-year-old Uzbekistani is a contender in almost every sprint finish. Will be one of the favourites for victory in the English stages. His team will try to keep the field together to ensure a bunch finish.

Rider number: 102

PETER DE CLERCQ

(Lotto)

The 28-year-old Belgian comes to England in the polka dot jersey as leader of the King of the Mountains competition, but is unlikely to stay in it once the Tour reaches the Pyrenees and Alps. Rominger and Indurain, favourites for the maillot jaune, will also be contenders for the polka dot jersey, as will Alvaro Mejia, Zenon Jaskula, Claudio Chiappucci, Oliveiro Rincon and Mikel Zarrabeitia.

Rider number: 193

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