Tour de France: Lance Armstrong loses critical time over the cobblestones
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour de France: Lance Armstrong loses critical time over the cobblestones

by Jered Gruber at 1:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Flat tire derails great position and legs

Lance Armstrong's chances at an 8th Tour de France victory "took a knock today" as Armstrong put it post-stage. The Texan was in a good position as the race hit the cobbles, but bad luck put paid to his chances of staying at the head of the race. Armstrong eventually lost 2:08 to the likes of Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck, 1:15 to Bradley Wiggins and Denis Menchov, and 55 seconds to Alberto Contador.

Armstrong was asked by Sporza if it was frustrating to have lost time on a day where it was apparent that he had good legs:

"It's very frustrating. But again, I'm not going to make any excuses. When we came in, I was in good position, there was the crash, I mean, everybody saw it on television; the crash split the group. We hung tough, tried to come back, but got the flat at the wrong moment. There's nothing I could do about that, just try to change as quick as you can and try to come back, but it's very difficult to come back.

Armstrong, a confessed hater of the cobbles, but a rider who gets across them without too much issue admitted the loss, but isn't ready to give up: "We lost significant time, so we have to keep our head up, and take our chances on the climbs. It's just bad luck…My chances took a knock today, but I'm not going home, but we'll stay in the race and keep trying."

Armstrong went from a solid 5th place overall down to 18th overall, 2:30 behind Fabian Cancellara. The great result from the prologue in Rotterdam was completely erased. Armstrong now finds himself behind the following contenders:

1:51 behind third place Cadel Evans
1:21 behind sixth place Andy Schleck
0:50 behind ninth place Alberto Contador
0:41 behind thirteenth place Denis Menchov
0:41 behind fourteenth place Bradley Wiggins
0:06 behind sixteenth place Roman Kreuziger

With that said, the losses aren't too terribly dire considering how bad his situation looked for a little while out on the road. Armstrong fared better than a number of other contenders, but the real issue is the time loss to the two riders who finished in front of him last year in Paris: Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.


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