Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jim Williams: No Lance could mean less attention for Tour

Jim Williams: No Lance could mean less attention for Tour
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Jim Williams, The Examiner
June 29, 2006 7:00 AM (11 mins ago)

BALTIMORE - For the first time since OLN began total live coverage of the Tour de France back in 2002, they will not have the draw of Lance Armstrong.

Will ratings suffer? Will the competition be as strong?

When talking to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the talented OLN Tour de France anchor broadcasters, they could not be more upbeat about the 2006 race.

Jim Williams: Who is the likely American successor to Lance Armstrong?

Phil Liggett: Well, in fact, there are three talented men and anyone of them could be the new American superstar. LetÂ’s start with Floyd Landis. He has exploded with wins in both the Paris-to-Niece race and the Tour of Georgia. Next would be Levi Leipheimer, who has been improving each time he goes out. Then there is George Hincapie. Many think that George could have finished in the top five the past three years, but he has dedicated himself to getting Lance a win.

JW: Who is the favorite to win the Tour?

PS: Lance has had two key rivals. Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso both feel that they have assembled teams worthy of winning a Tour title. But this is the most open competition that we have had in at least five years.

OLN starts their live coverage of the Tour on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can email Jim at


OLN also will feature plenty of pre taped segments with Lance Armstrong that they will use in their primetime shows.

If you have not tuned in the Tour on OLN you should!

It is part sporting event is a beautiful travelogue giving you the drama of a great sports contest and the living post views of France.

OLN has a high production standard and if you watched the NHL on OLN then you know that this fast growing network is setting a high standard for sports coverage.

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