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Crashes Derail Lance Armstrong’s Tour Chances

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong had hoped to close the gap on the leaders in the Tour de France as the race hit the notoriously brutal mountain stages. There was good reason for optimism, as Armstrong is considered one of the best mountain riders in the world. Unfortunately, some more setbacks including several crashes has left Armstrong resigned to the fact that he’s no longer got a realistic shot at winning in his final Tour de France.

Armstrong has already said that this will be his last Tour de France, and he had been hoping to contend for his 8th title. Sunday proved to be a disaster for the 38 year old Texan and left him all but conceding defeat. Armstrong got caught up in three crashes—one which brought him down—and that hurt him immeasurably. More significantly, however, he’s simply not the monstrous mountain rider that he once was and struggled on the steep inclines for perhaps the first time in his career.

The tough day led to a number of Twitter-based revelations from Armstrong:

“My Tour is finished. When it rains it pours I guess. Today was not my day, needless to say. Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks."

Tour director Christian Prudhomme gave these thoughts:

"During his period of domination, in the first mountain stage in high altitudes, he'd hit hard. This is the first time it's not happened like that.”

"You can rationally say it's the end of an epoch, the third version, after the episode of his return from cancer, and his domination. The third act has certainly taken a different turn."

While some have speculated that Armstrong will withdraw from the event, he says he’s going to complete the grueling competition:

"Obviously the Tour's finished for me, but I can try and win stages, try and help the team…really try and appreciate my time here, and the fact that I'm not coming back."

Australian Cadel Evans is now the overall leader, but will face stiff competition the rest of the way from Luxembourg’s Andy Scheck and defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain. Armstrong is currently in 39th place, though he should be able to move up in the field assuming he can avoid further misfortune.

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