TDF Watch

You will read in the Statesman today that Lance Armstrong came up short yesterday in the 17th and most difficult stage of the Tour de France and dropped out of podium position when he was unable to keep up with teammate Alberto Contador on the final climbs.

Don't believe it.

Those who watched the race stage saw Armstrong's best performance of the Tour and a masterpiece of taking one for the team. Lance sacrificed his own position and lost about two minutes to Contador and the Schleck brothers, who are now second and third overall. But in doing so he absolutely destroyed the man he and Contador feared the most going into the stage, time trialist Bradley Wiggins, then powered away from Wiggins on the final climb, gaining almost a minute in the last 500 meters or so to stay well within podium contention and virtually guarantee the overall win for his team leader. My prediction: By the time you read this, Lance will be back in second place overall following the Thursday time trial and, with Andreas Klöden, will lead a first, second, and third podium sweep for his Astana team Sunday in Paris.

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