Tour de France: Armstrong in second, teammate in first


It seems like those Lance Armstrong commercials for Nike are no joke. Dude is a competitor. This is Armstrong’s first Tour de France since his comeback and, at age 37, the young man still has it. Armstrong has since moved up to second place after completing the race’s 15th stage. Only problem is, his teammate Alberto Contador is 1 minute and 37 seconds ahead.

The Spaniard dominated the first stage in the Alps to take the overall lead on Sunday — his first chance to wear the yellow jersey since winning the 2007 Tour de France. Armstrong, who started the 15th stage in fourth, moved up to second overall but is 1 minute, 37 seconds behind his teammate and rival.

“The differences now are pretty big, and the team’s bet should now be me, no?” he said. “I’m sure my teammates are going to put in great work to back me up just like they did today.”

“I think when Alberto went, he showed he’s the best rider in the race, certainly the best climber. … Hats off to him,” Armstrong said.

The American vowed that he would not go against team orders and attack Contador later in the race.

“That’s not going to happen,” he said. “There’s been a lot of drama between Alberto and me … but at the end of the day we sit as a team.”

The 26-year-old Spaniard broke away from other pre-race favorites with 3.5 miles left in the 128.9-mile ride from Pontarlier, France, to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier — and he kept extending his lead to the end to finish in 5 hours, 3 minutes, 58 seconds.

I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t completely understand how the Tour de France works. Apparently, you ride for a sponsor who puts together an entire team. This character Alberto Contador is on the same team as Lance Armstrong. The cycling legend is showing true sportsmanship in promising not to try and pass Contador. However, Contador rubs me the wrong way, at least judging by his quotes. For the sake of comedy, I’d love Armstrong to throw something in his spokes and dash ahead during the last leg of the race. For the sake of comedy, of course. For the sake of sports, I guess that’d be bad.

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