Monday, 12 July 2010
2010 le Tour de France: Andy Schleck wins – Lance Armstrong cracks
Yesterday's stage that saw Andy Schleck win at Avoriaz and Lance Armstrong lose over 11 minutes may proved to be a devisive pointer to the final outcome. Firstly it certainly ends any hope that Armstrong had of winning his 8th Tour – Lance, himself, said that clearly immediately he finished his hellish stage.
Admittedly Armstrong crashed at a bad moment but age catches up with all champions who stay on too long, It happened to Eddy Merckx and to Miguel Indurain. Yesterday it looks to have been Armstrong's turn – see William Fotheringham's report in The Guardian here. I'm sure Armstrong will lose further time over the next two weeks and may find it hard to persuade his body to take further punishment.
Andy Schleck's victory may be a pointer that he is stronger in the mountains this year than Alberto Contador. Alberto said he had problems to breathe with the heat and humidity and was unable to follow Schleck right at the very end. Maybe but he was unable to drop Janez Brajkovic in this year's Dauphine stage up the Alpe d'Huez. Tuesday's Alpine stage to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne over the Col de la Madelaine should give us further clues.