The 2004 Tour de France was a milestone event. The great American, Lance Armstrong, was poised to etch his name in the history books as the only man to win the event on six consecutive occasions and the number of Australian cyclists nominated to start the event reached record proportions. In fact, the 10 selected from Australia was a record from one English-speaking nation in the Tour's 101-year history.
The Aussies made their mark in many ways: Robbie McEwen and Stuart O'Grady won three stages between them. Both shared in the spoils of either wearing or winning the prestigious sprinter's green jersey during the three weeks of competition.
Among the highlights was the trek through the Pyrenees and Alpine districts of France where Armstrong showed his true colours. He won a total of five stages - the most ever of his reign at the Tour. Add to that the powerful support of his US Postal team which didn't miss a beat in its quest to guiding Armstrong to legendary status.
Sporting history unfolded before our very eyes as Armstrong rode into Paris unscathed and unchallenged to the strains of the Star-Spangled Banner ringing true across the French capital - and not for the first time either!
LE TOUR DE FRANCE 2004: THE HIGHLIGHTS takes you to the heart of this 3,390 kilometre, 23 day race - the most challenging sporting event in the world.
Compiled and produced by SBS Television, this four-hour special features exclusive footage, interviews and bonus material. Commentary is provided by Michael Tomalaris, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen.