Now, for the cycling equivalent of filling Michael Jordan's shoes. These are the American riders most likely to succeed in future Tours.
LEVI LEIPHEIMER, 31
He finished an impressive sixth in this year's Tour, the third top 10 of his career. With a little more help from his teammates in the mountains, the Gerolsteiner captain should crack the top three next year.
FLOYD LANDIS, 29
Kind of a quiet Tour for a guy who spoke of his high hopes in the weeks leading up to the race. Ninth place isn't bad, but the scrappy former teammate of Armstrong's can--and should--place higher in 2006.
DAVE ZABRISKIE, 26
The rider who spent three days in the yellow jersey before crashing out of the 2005 Tour is a bit of a mystery. Already one of the top time trialers in the world, he needs to work on climbing--and staying on his bike.
TOM DANIELSON, 27
Called Armstrong's heir after winning the Tour de Georgia in April, the former mountain biker injured a knee and had an uneventful summer. A sensational climber, he's a year or two from contending in France.
DANNY PATE, 26