Armstrong, so close, yet so far
MONTPELLIAR: Lance Armstrong dramatically missed out on the yellow jersey by the slimmest of margins today after his Astana team smashed their rivals apart in the Tour de France’s fourth stage time trial.
Astana came over the finish line of the 39km race against the clock 40secs ahead of the Saxo Bank team of Fabian Cancellara, who began and finished the race in the yellow jersey. However Armstrong, the seven-time champion who moved up seven places from 10th to third after Monday’s equally dramatic third stage, has shown once again that he fully intends to stay in contention for an eighth Tour crown.
Armstrong, returning to the race four years after his record seventh triumph in 2005, is now second overall in the overall standings at 0sec behind Cancellara, missing taking the yellow jersey by two tenths of a second. The Garmin team of David Millar and Bradley Wiggins did well to finish in second, only 18secs behind Astana, in an event they desperately wanted to win. The American team’s bid came undone earlier than they had hoped, however, when they lost four of their riders early in the race.