Is Lance Armstrong 'Finished'?

At Tour de France, the end of an era

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Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong says he's "finished" in the currently ongoing tour, after the U.S. racer suffered three crashes in a single day, setting him 12 minutes behind the frontrunner. Is Armstrong really done in this tour, and what does this mean for the world-famous cancer survivor, who at 38 is one of the oldest cyclists on the Tour de France?

  • Armstrong: 'My Tour is Finished,' Last Tour Ever The Associated Press reports, "The Texan crossed the finish line nearly 12 minutes behind Schleck after the 117.4-mile run from Station des Rousses to the Morzine-Avoriaz ski resort. 'My Tour is finished,' said Armstrong, who holds a record seven Tour victories and is riding in what he says will be his last try in cycling's showcase event. The 38-year-old plunged to 39th place overall. Armstrong said he had a 'very, very bad day,' but will continue the three-week race that ends July 25 in Paris."
  • 'The End of the Lance Armstrong Era' ESPN's Mark Brown declares, "this will mark the end of the Lance Armstrong era. He lost 12 minutes today, caught up in three crashes, killing his chances."
  • He Won't Win Blogger Charles Johnson sighs, "Bottom line: Lance Armstrong probably isn't going to make it to the podium in this year's Tour de France. This morning was the first serious mountain stage, with two very difficult Category 1 climbs, and Armstrong couldn't hang. He ended up almost 12 minutes behind in the General Classification. And there are several more difficult climbing stages in the Alps coming up this week. Unless Armstrong makes an incredible recovery, he may have to grit his teeth and be happy with winning seven Tours in a row."
  • Just Too Old? Yahoo News' cycling blogger Saddle Blaze writes, "So ends the second coming of the Tour de France's most successful rider: shafted by bad luck, old age and the Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov. ... it's been like this since Armstrong made his return to cycling last year. Where before he was invincible - remember his uncanny avoidance of Joseba Beloki in 2003? - the older Lance has been unfortunate. The collar bone in 2009; the elbow and cheek in California; and now these freak incidents, the timing of which couldn't have been worse."
  • Rival Contador Expresses 'Admiration' for Lance After Crashes Sporting Life's Matt McGeehan writes, "Lance Armstrong's demise as a contender for the 2010 Tour de France was met with sorrow by his biggest rival, Alberto Contador. The duo endured a fractious relationship during the 2009 Tour, as team-mates in Armstrong's comeback season at Astana. ... Rather than take joy from the American's fall to 39th in the general classification rankings as he trailed in almost 12 minutes behind the Tour favourites, Contador said his respect for Armstrong had grown by the events of Sunday's eighth stage. 'It was a complicated situation, we had never seen it before yesterday,' said Contador, of Armstrong being dropped on the Col de La Ramaz. 'When I saw it on TV I thought about Armstrong's career. Yesterday he was very unlucky - I don't enjoy watching great riders like him suffer. But my admiration is still the same, maybe my admiration is even stronger now.'"
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