Lance Armstrong showed just why he is a five-time Tour de France champion when he took second on today's stage, gaining two minutes and thirty seconds on his closest rival, Jan Ullrich, and 3:27 behind Tyler Hamilton, and 2:57 over super-climber and ex-teammate, Roberto Heras, now on the Spanish team Liberty Seguros. In the overall standings, Thomas Voeckler (Brioches la Boulangere) made a huge effort and kept his yellow jersey for another day.
It was a day of much rain, making the descent dangerous, but luckily, no one crashed, and at the end the roads were dry. The posties (in the rain) made the pack go in many groups because of their hard pace. Lance kept that pace and even sped up when his last teammate was through and made many suffer more. Ullrich was just having his day in the first day of the mountains in his huge gear.
Lance could have won the stage, but he is trying to help Italian Ivan Basso's mother fight cancer. "We've been friends for a long time, and off the bike we're trying to work a little bit on his mom's situation, to try and see if she can win the fight against cancer," Armstrong said.
Basso wins the stage ahead of Lance.
Ullrich has trouble.
Hamilton also struggles.