French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Lance Armstrongâ€™s new lease on life after watching Wednesdayâ€™s 17th stage in the raceâ€™s director car.
â€œArmstrong has won seven Tours and he is coming back at 37 with the state of mind of a young man,â€ Sarkozy told French TV after the stage. â€œHe is coming back to make a good result, to enjoy itâ€”and to fight for his foundation. And God knows how much we need to fight against cancer. Itâ€™s giving hope to all the ill people.â€
A longtime admirer of Armstrong, Sarkozy repeated his commitment to the fight against doping and defended the Tourâ€™s efforts to eradicate it, such as theÂ …Â Details
Lance Armstrong had another hard day on the saddle on Wednesday yet the American was convinced he could still snatch the runner-up spot on the Tour de France.
The seven-times Tour champion could not follow the Schleck brothers or Astana team mate Alberto Contador in the demanding ascent to the Col de Romme and dropped from second to fourth overall in the standings.
When the road turned skyward and Frank Schleck attacked, the 37-year-old Texan could not keep pace.
â€œI could not find my acceleration to go with the other guys,â€ Armstrong, on his comeback Tour four years after his last triumph, told reporters.
The American was then in a small chasing group but team tactics prevented him from stepping up a gearâ€”such a move could have brought back Garmin-Slipstream rival Bradley Wiggins of Britain in contention.
â€œI was here stuck with Wiggins. I just could not go, I had to wait until it got steeper when I could definitely pull away.â€Â Â …Â Details
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