Race leader Lance Armstrong acknowledges that today’s stage did not go well for his team, and admits
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Lance Armstrong tonight admitted that his Discovery Channel team was facing a crisis after T-Mobile left them reeling on the first major climb of the 2005 Tour de France.
After seeing Andreas Klden close to within two minutes of the yellow jersey thanks to his second place behind stage winner Pieter Weening, Armstrong seemed to acknowledge that he and his team had flirted with catastrophe on the Col de la Schlucht, 15km from the end of today’s 8th stage from Pforzheim to Grardmer.
“I don’t know whether I’ve been too active, whether the team has worked too hard, or whether it was the speed that caused us problems,” said Armstrong tonight. “I don’t have any explanation. But clearly the team wasn’t on today and I didn’t feel good either. We are going to have to re-evaluate tonight. It was a strange climb, a long climb but not very steep. On a climb like that there are 40 or 50 guys who can take shots at you from the back.”
Armstrong finished in a group of 32 riders containing none of his Discovery Channel team-mates. Paolo Savoldelli was one of the few Discovery Channel domestiques to emerge from the stage with any credit, having snuffed out the first of three Alexandre Vinokourov attacks on the Col de la Schlucht. The reigning Giro champion was then dropped from the leading group and struggled home in 68th position.
“It wasn’t a great situation for me to be alone in a group like that, with a fast downhill. I was isolated and I was suffering. I just had to try to limit the damage and stay at the front,” Armstrong admitted. “I’ll have to keep my head up. That’s the nature of the race. It’s hard, it’s dangerous, it’s fast. You can lose the Tour at any kilometre and we have to do four thousand of those.”