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Tour door opens for Hincapie, Landis, Leipheimer

Updated: July 1, 2006, 4:13 PM ET
By Andrew Hood | Special to ESPN.com

STRASBOURG, France -- There's no Lance, and after Friday's doping upheaval, there's no Jan or Ivan, either.

With seven-time Lance Armstrong enjoying retirement, the 2006 Tour de France revved up Saturday without a clear candidate.

Pre-race favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso were among nine riders kicked out of the race for links to an alleged blood-doping ring in Spain.

With four of the Top 5 riders from last year's race suddenly out of the picture, this Tour is wide open.

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