Lance Armstrong doing well in Tour de France


Since returning from retirement, Lance Armstrong hasn’t been able to reach the level of dominance he displayed during his entire career. That’s expected, obviously, but he’s currently showing signs of his past ability at this favorite race, the Tour de France. Earlier today, Armstrong jumped from 10th to third place.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish won his second straight stage. He and Armstrong and overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland kept up with a breakaway group that bolted from the pack with 18 miles left in the 122-mile third stage.

Armstrong, a seven-time champion coming out of retirement, is 40 seconds behind. He was able to make his big jump because riders in front of him at the start of the day got trapped in the main pack.

The race is set for a shakeout featuring Cancellara, Armstrong and Germany’s Tony Martin in Tuesday’s team time trial. Each team is strong in the 24-mile event, which starts and finishes in Montpellier. If Astana wins, Armstrong could take the yellow jersey. The race ends July 26 in Paris.

Like Roger Federer, Lance Armstrong is an institution in his sport. It’s nice to watch the “old guys” succeed, though neither is old in general by any means. As far as spectator sports are concerned in America, cycling is about as popular rugby. Nevertheless, Armstrong’s story is both interesting an inspiring. The fact that he’s won 7 times is proof enough that he’s both a phenomenal athlete and the greatest cyclist of all time. That he’s come back is a product of his determination and frustration with the minutia of everyday life. There’s only so much one can do before they need to partake in the things they love.

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