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Tour notebook: Tyler ready to race; Riis wants more from this Tour

A confident Tyler Hamilton says he believes he can win the Tour de France. “No question, I’m here to win. I’m here with a strong team, we’re motivated and they expect me to do well. There’s more pressure, but I like that,” he said. “ When asked if he could be the ride to topple Lance Armstrong, Hamilton said he would give it a try. “Lance will be stronger than last year, so we have to be stronger than last year,” said the Man from Marblehead. “Lance and I are friends off the bike, but on the bike we’re competitors.” Hamilton said Armstrong’s troubles in 2003 give him and other rivals

By Andrew Hood

A confident Tyler Hamilton says he believes he can win the Tour de France.

“No question, I’m here to win. I’m here with a strong team, we’re motivated and they expect me to do well. There’s more pressure, but I like that,” he said. “

When asked if he could be the ride to topple Lance Armstrong, Hamilton said he would give it a try.

“Lance will be stronger than last year, so we have to be stronger than last year,” said the Man from Marblehead. “Lance and I are friends off the bike, but on the bike we’re competitors.”

Hamilton said Armstrong’s troubles in 2003 give him and other rivals more motivation.

“A lot of guys are licking their lips and ready to attack,” Hamilton said. “A lot of people believe they have a chance.

When asked if he was too much of a nice guy to win the Tour, Hamilton replied: “I’ve got a mean streak in me, too.”

Riis wants more for CSC

Team CSC cleaned up in last year’s Tour, winning the team classification, three stages with three different riders and putting two into the top 10 overall.

This year, Team CSC manager Bjarne Riis said his boys in red will be on the attack.

“We have a stronger team than last year and we can do well in all terrain,” Riis said. “We want to go on the attack, we want to go on the offensive. We have a strong team and we want to make our presence felt.”

“We have big ambitions,” Riis said as Team CSC faced the world’s media in a press conference Thursday. “If it all works out, we can have Basso and Sastre in the top 10, we can win stages, we chase the yellow jersey. The team time trial is also one of our big ambitions.”