Armstrong 'happy' to lose yellow jersey as Voigt takes over
Monday 11 July 2005
Armstrong claimed that losing the lead to the German was "a strategic decision". "I felt today might be the day we gave the jersey away or the jersey was taken away and sure enough it was," he said. "It was not a priority to keep it, but it's always a special jersey to have on your back. When you cross the line and you don't go to the podium to put it on, you're a little sad. But it's a long race and now it's the last 10 days which matter."
Rasmussen pulled off one of the most remarkable exploits in recent Tour history, forging his way to a solo win after spending 100 miles ahead of the field. The Dane took a huge gamble of the sort that rarely pays off these days by attacking almost as soon as the race began in Gerardmer, deep in the Vosges mountain range of eastern France.
Crossing all six classified climbs which followed in first place, Rasmussen shook off the one rider willing to accompany him in such a reckless act, the Reading-born Italian Dario Cioni, even before the main climb of the day, the 22-kilometre (14 miles) Ballon d'Alsace. "My initial idea was to strengthen my hold on the mountains jersey, but I had a four-minute advantage after the Ballon, so I knew I could stay away alone to the finish," Rasmussen said.
Voigt, one of his two closest pursuers, took over the yellow jersey but was realistic enough to recognise that his time in the limelight will be limited. "High mountain stages like in the Alps [starting tomorrow] are just not my thing," he said.
They are Armstrong's however, and the six-time Tour winner was more optimistic at the end of yesterday's stage than 24 hours previously, when he had been completely isolated from his Discovery Channel team on the Tour's first major climb.
On the second-category climb of the Col de la Schlucht, Alexandre Vinokourov pulverised the Texan's squad with six attacks, and his T-Mobile team-mate Andreas Klöden rubbed salt into the wound by tearing off close to the summit to gain 27 seconds of advantage on Armstrong, who described his day as "shitty".
His team were back on-message yesterday, flanking their leader faultlessly over the Ballon d'Alsace at the front of the main bunch. But if one American was looking back in control of affairs, for another, the Tour's first yellow jersey wearer David Zabriskie, a second day of hard climbing proved too much. Injured in last week's team time-trial in Blois, Zabriskie was nearly an hour adrift on Saturday's stage and yesterday he quit after 10km.
Alasdair Fotheringham writes for 'Cycling Weekly'
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez: The many (animated) faces of Arsenal's Chilean forward
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...
£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...