Tour shorts: Rasmussen & Thor

Fighting talk from Michael Rasmussen as he looks ahead to the Pyrenees, while Thor Hushovd looks for

Fighting talk from Michael Rasmussen as he looks ahead to the Pyrenees, while Thor Hushovd looks for

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

"Lance Armstrong is not invincible. I'm certain he can be beaten, and I believe that I can be the one to beat him." Michael Rasmussen, second on GC, 38 seconds behind Armstrong, seems to be gathering confidence by the minute, writes Susanne Horsdal.

In Friday's edition of the Danish paper BT, Rasmussen further explains that he has noticed Armstrong showing signs of weakness compared to earlier years. "In other years he's more or less just taken off from the peloton once we reached the first climb. And he neither could nor did on Tuesday's stage to Courchevel," says the Rabobank rider, who's got his systems set on attack once the race reaches the Pyrenees.

"I've never been riding as fast as I am right now, so now's the time to take a chance. The only chance I have is to attack in the Pyrenees because I need to increase the distance to those close to me on the GC. Its riders like Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Santiago Botero I need to distance. They all ride a better time trial than me. But I believe that I can beat a rider like Basso even though he's been riding strongly. I still believe that I'm better than him in the mountains," says Rasmussen.

- Thor Hushovd, new green jersey holder, is set to make a good deal of money if he can keep the sprinters' jersey to Paris because his contract with Crdit Agricole is largely based on bonuses. "It's true that that's one of the most important bonuses in my contract," Hushovd tells Norwegian paper VG.

The money he's making has so far been invested in real estate. Hushovd owns a house in Le Boulot, an apartment in the nearby village Cret, an apartment near the lake in his Norwegian hometown of Grimstad, plus a cabin, also in Norway. "I like to follow the real estate market. Everything I've bought so far has increased in value, and I feel they've been good investments," says Hushovd.

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