Lance Armstrong, the record 7-time Tour de France champion dismissed his shot at victory in his last Tour, as the Texan cyclist struggled his way through a Stage 8 that featured numerous stumbles.
Armstrong was at the center of three crashes, including one that resulted in a fall, and genuinely struggled to keep pace during two tough climbs during the first Stage running through the Alps.
Taking advantage of the rigorous climbs was 25-year-old Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, as he bested all other competitors for the Stage 8 win. However, the real story of the day may be World champion Cadel Evans securing the yellow jersey by finishing just 10 seconds behind Schleck, and well in front of previous leader Sylvain Chavanel of France.
Schleck, the Saxo Bank team leader, finished with a time of 4 hours, 54 minutes, 11 seconds, for the 117.4-mile run from Station des Rousses to the Morzine-Avoriaz ski resort that featured two very challenging climbs.
Lance Armstrong took to his Twitter account where he said “Today was not my day, needless to say. Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks.”
The stage was a departure from previous Tour years where Armstrong dominated the mountains, typically gaining ground against competitors there.
Taking a page from the Armsrong of the past was Schleck, as he showed he’s one of the world’s best climbing cyclists by charging to the head of the pack with under mile to go.
Alberto Contador, the defending Tour champion and favorite, finished in 5th place, nearly 10 seconds back.