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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inner-team turmoil headlining a close Tour de France

Stage 7 was the first stage in the mountains, and the longest stage of the Tour de France, but when the riders had crossed the finish line seven time American champion Lance Armstrong was in third place just behind Alberto Contador and Italian rider Rinaldo Nocentini (team AG2R La Mondiale). Nocentini was part of an early breakaway and managed to stay in front long enough to win the yellow jersey. Rockie Frenchman Brice Feillu (team Agritubel) won the stage on the power of his last 5K breakaway from the summit making him the star of the day and perhaps a new rising star in professional cycling. However the talk of the day was not who prevailed on arguably the toughest day of the cycling event but what was the conversation between teammates Armstrong and Contador in the “party van” after the race as they were both requested to submit to random drug test. Although many don’t consider cycling to be a team sport, the US Mail team that Armstrong used to ride for has been given a large share of the credit for his seven victories. This team may be a different story as there continues to be a disagreement on who is the General and who is the Lieutenant. The cold war continues as Contador doesn’t seem to be yielding or providing much in the way of interference for LA leaving many to believe he has no intentions of stepping aside while Lance gets fitted for a new mustard jacket. The TDF doesn’t really begin until they get to the Alps, LA usually shines, if/when he gets the commanding lead it’ll be interesting to see what Lance has to say as it may be a bigger story than winning his 8th. Do you think Lance Armstrong is a good team mate? Let us know here and in the Cycling chat room. Also view the current up to date TDF standings here.

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