Five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain believes six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong is the best ridePICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Miguel Indurain has offered his opinion on the most frequently debated question in the sport over the past few days, labelling Lance Armstrong as "the best rider in the history of the Tour de France because he is the only one to have won the race six times." But, said five-time Tour winner Indurain in an interview with AS, "the best rider in the history of cycling is, simply because of his palmares, Eddy Merckx. Compared to Merckx, who competed right through the season, Armstrong just focuses on one race. What would the other five-time winners have done is they had followed Lance's strategy? Nobody knows, but what I can say is that I tried to win a sixth Tour in 1996, and before the start I felt very good, but I wasn't at the level that I wanted to be at." Indurain said he sees no reason why Armstrong should not go on and win another Tour "providing he is capable of maintaining his concentration and making the necessary sacrifices. Physically, he is still in good condition." Indurain felt that his only weakness in achieving a sixth Tour win was in bringing his dispute with Italian Filippo Simeoni into public view by chasing the Domina Vacanze rider down on stage 18. Apart from this, said the Spaniard, Armstrong's Tour performance was pure perfection. The help that Armstrong received from Iberian team-mates Jos Azevedo and Benjamin Noval has been recognised with them being awarded contracts by the Discovery Channel running to 2006.