Lance Armstrong has the strength to win his personal duel with Astana team mate Alberto Contador, another of the raceâ€™s main contenders, Andy Schleck said on Monday.
â€œArmstrong is very, very strong and heâ€™s very lean,â€ the younger of the Schleck brothers, and best young rider in last yearâ€™s Tour, said of the seven-times Tour champion.
â€œHe has the engine to win the Tour. A lot of riders focus more on Contador, but Armstrong has a good card to play.
â€œIf one day he has the chance to take some time, he wonâ€™t miss it. And then he will be very hard to catch,â€ the 24-year-old Luxembourg climber told reporters on the rest day in Limoges.
Schleck, the leader of the Saxo Bank team, was unable to react when Contador attacked on the final climb to Arcalis, in Andorra, on Friday, but he does not believe the 2007 Tour winner has the race wrapped up…Â Details
Lance Armstrong says he could be back for one more Tour de France.
The 37-year-old Texan, who is competing in the Tour for the first time since 2005, was asked by a French TV interviewer if this will be his last one.
â€œProbably not. Probably not,â€ Armstrong said on France-2 after Sundayâ€™s ninth stage. â€œMaybe one more Tour.â€
The seven-time champion, who is riding for the Astana team without salary this year, has previously hinted he may launch his own team next season…Â Details
Franceâ€™s Pierrick Fedrigo won the ninth stage of the Tour de France, a 160.5-km trek from St Gaudens to Tarbes on Sunday.
Italyâ€™s Franco Pellizotti was second and Spainâ€™s Oscar Freire third…Â Details
As usual, the Tour de France has been a fascinating feast of sporting drama, spiced with side dishes of cycling politics, secrecy, speculation and innuendo.
Now, as the midway point of the worldâ€™s most arduous two-wheeled test approaches, it may become a race.
Cyclingâ€™s inner machinations provide intrigue of their own, and for those who like to delve beneath the skin of athletic endeavor it is the gift that keeps on giving.
Finally getting to understand the intricate workings of this complex profession, with its multitude of jerseys, classifications, traditions and team orders is something of an achievement in itself.
Yet what everyone with an affinity for this event wants to see â€“ from the casual television viewer to the bike racing fanatic â€“ is two combatants freed from situational shackles and allowed to go head-to-head in pedaling warfare.
Such shackles looked likely to deny Lance Armstrong his shot at an eighth Tour title this year, with Spanish teammate Alberto Contador having earned the protected position of leader within the Astana squad…Â Details
A brief look at Saturdayâ€™s eighth stage of the Tour de France:
Stage: A 109.7-mile trek featuring three big climbs from Andorra La Vella, Andorra, to Saint-Girons, France.
Winner: Spainâ€™s Luis Leon Sanchez, in a sprint ahead of three other breakaway riders. Sanchez won the Paris-Nice stage race in March. He crossed the line just ahead of Franceâ€™s Sandy Casar and Mikel Astarloza of Spain.
Yellow Jersey: Rinaldo Nocentini of the AG2R-La Mondiale team, who earned …Â Details
BARCELONA, Spain â€“ If he hadnâ€™t made the most significant decision in recent cycling history, Lance Armstrong would probably have been relaxing in Texas on Thursday, a smattering of pudge around his middle and his family by his side.
Despite the creature comforts his comeback has forced him to forsake, and even with a broken collarbone in his preparation for the Tour de France, there havenâ€™t been many days when Armstrong has pined for home while on his bike.
An intensity of focus has been the constant thread through Armstrongâ€™s career, the refusal to take as much as …Â Details