Andy Schleck won stage eight of cycling’s Tour de France today, with Cadel Evans taking the race leader’s yellow jersey. Record seven-time champion Lance Armstrong lost time after being involved in three crashes and said his chance of victory has disappeared.
Saxo Bank rider Schleck of Luxembourg, the overall runner- up last year, edged Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel at the end of the 189-kilometer (117.5-mile) route from Station des Rousses to Morzine-Avoriaz, with Australia’s Evans of the BMC Racing team among a pack 10 seconds back.
Schleck trails Evans by 20 seconds in the overall standings following the first major mountain stage of this year’s race. Last year’s champion Alberto Contador, a Spaniard who rides for Astana, is a further 41 seconds back. Armstrong of the U.S. slips to 39th, 13 minutes, 26 seconds behind the leader, with teammate and countryman Levi Leipheimer now RadioShack’s closest challenger in eighth.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky was among other contenders to lose time after he was dropped on the final climb. Armstrong finished almost 12 minutes behind Schleck.
Armstrong, 38, said he had “a very bad day” after crashing and struggled to recover, Agence France-Presse reported.
“My Tour is over,” Armstrong was cited as saying. “But I will stay in the race. I will enjoy it, I’ll try and take some pleasure out of it, to support the team. I’m not complaining.”
The comments were confirmed by Philippe Maertens, a spokesman for Armstrong’s RadioShack team.
There is a rest day tomorrow. The following day the riders face a 204.5-kilometer ride through the Alps from Morzine- Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. The race ends July 25 in Paris.