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July 17, 2004

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The crowding along the mountain stages is just another of the hundreds of traditions that accrue to a century old event of this nature. The riders don't necessarily like it, but they also understand that it's part of the "experience." There are even unwritten rules in the peloton for how to deal with spectator interference; Lance himself benefited from them last year when he was knocked down and Jan Ullrich waited for him to catch up.

Regarding the weird physiology of bigtime bike riders, you won't be surprised to learn that some professional riders lose signficant bone mass relatively early in their lives. Hopefully that's changing as they start to include more weight training, but there are some success factors in cycling that can cause one to not to pursue those load-bearing exercises that mitigate the bone loss.

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