Tour de France - Armstrong's Standing?

For those of you in the know, now that the 11th stage is finished, is the 9:00+ minute deficit Lance Armstrong currently has from the leader something that he can make up? Should I be worried that in the first few "mountain" stages, the leader finished up at the front?

I know little to nothing about cycling, and the information I find on the sports sites give little to no commentary about the placement of the riders. I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of the riders in the #1 through #5 positions.

For those of you in the know, now that the 11th stage is finished, is the 9:00+ minute deficit Lance Armstrong currently has from the leader something that he can make up?

Easily. Voeckler is not exactly known as good allrounder - Armstrong is. Same for Ulrich. He may have made it through the first mountain passage, but it took him quite an effort. He''s unlikely to keep that pace up over the weekend - when it gets really messy. On a bad day the slowest guys reach the finish 10, 20 or even 25 minutes after the first ones. Also, Armstrong should be able to beat him by a minute or more in the oncoming time trials.

Thanks for the info! Not that I really have anything against any of the guys in front of Lance, I just don''t know enough about the sport to know when he''s completely out of it. It''d be nice (from an American pride sort of view) to see him win again, but I''m sure all those guys in front of him are worthy, too.

Either way, I feel like my wife at a football (American) game. ""What''s going on? Huh? Why''d they do that? Why''s that guy in the striped shirt waving his hands like that?"" Just all out clueless.

Consider - yesterday''s stage was about 155 miles. That''s like 5 hours or more, in the mountains. 9 minutes out of 300+? He could literally make that up in one race, and there are still around a dozen stages left, aren''t there?

Watch the Outdoor Life Network coverage, their commentators will educate you pretty quickly. Then the races make sense and are a lot of fun.

Don''t worry sheared, Lance is expected to blow the leader away by as much as 20 to 30 minutes in the mountain stages. Don''t pay attention to the posers in front of Lance, pay attention to where the other greats are...they are right with Lance but a little behind him. I hate to jinx Lance but if he keeps his current strategy going and doesn''t get into any bad wrecks he can win his 6th.

By the way, like the kid avatar.

Update:Moncoutie won today's stage. French journalists tried to access Lance's hotel room to look for evidence of banned substance (or to plant evidence). Lance is furious. I pity his rivals tomorrow.

By the way, like the kid avatar.

Thanks! That''s my son during a hike in Nashville. He loves the hiking backpack (in addition to his cool sunglasses and hat).

The Tour de France website also has live web radio coverage of the tour that plays in the mornings in the U.S. and makes time at work go pretty quickly.

Well, it might sound a bit daring, but to me Armstrong pretty much won the tour today. And Ulrich once again proved that he simply has no chance against him when it goes up a steep mountain. He can''t keep up that pace because he''s one of the guys that prefer to keep his ass on the saddle. Hamilton, Herras et al didn''t really shine either. Nobody beats Armstrong on a good day and he once again seems to have a great condition this year. The only thing that could stop him this year would be an injury.

EDIT: And watch Voeckler losing the lead tomorrow or on Sunday. The next two days will be tough as hell.

That''s my boy!

The boss is back in yellow.

This was supposed to be the year that Lance didn''t win, are they serious? Are they nuts??

What is so amazing, is last week when he was 9 mins behind, I was discussing this with someone who follows the sport. I know he had trailed in earlier years, and made up the time, but 9 mins seemed crazy!

Then the next dat he had shaped like 6 or 7 mins off the time. The next day he is like 15 secs. AMAZING!

Anybody that doesn''t realize the accomplishments Armstrong has done is kidding themselves...

Did anybody see the race this morning? It was like the parting of the red sea -- watching the cyclists move up the mountain surrounded by crazed fans. It was bizarre and a bit scary. I don''t know how Lance does it.

What is so amazing, is last week when he was 9 mins behind, I was discussing this with someone who follows the sport.
Anybody that doesn''t realize the accomplishments Armstrong has done is kidding themselves...

I''ve been following the Tour since... 1994, I guess. 9 mins isn''t really that amazing. Nobody who knows these guys ever debated the possibility of Voeckler winning the Tour - it was only a question of time until someone else was to take over. Seriously. Just take a look at the overall results, Armstrong wasn''t the only guy to surpass him. And Voeckler will lose more time in the stages to come. Tomorrow there''s another tough one and there''s also another time trial. It''s not some kind of special achievement only Armstrong could have pulled off, there are 10 others who did the same.

"Edgar_Newt" wrote:

It was like the parting of the red sea -- watching the cyclists move up the mountain surrounded by crazed fans.

I saw that. It was an astounding visual so early in the morning. Lance is God.

I''m not an avid follower, that is why 9 mins seemed amazing to me.

As far as achievements, beating cancer and possibly winning 6 in a row counts, right?

As far as achievements, beating cancer and possibly winning 6 in a row counts, right?

Damn straight it does.

Well, now after stage 16, he is 3''48"" clear of his nearest rival and VOECKLER who was 9 mins ahead is now over 16 mins behind. Such is the power of Amrstrong in the moutains.

As far as achievements, beating cancer and possibly winning 6 in a row counts, right?

See, I didn''t say he''s not the best out there. Because, well, he clearly is. I was more referring to the point that the 9mins gap wasn''t as huge as it might appear to those who don''t follow le Tour that much. I mean, I basically said it in the second post right in this thread. A 9 min gap between Ullrich and Armstrong would have been huge, but Voeckler is nowhere his level. There are 10 other competitors who were even further behind Voeckler and surpassed him meanwhile. And there probably will be more.

Armstrong certainly is the most professional, determined and disciplined cyclist. Who also happens to be in the team with the biggest budget and with the best supporting sportsmen imaginable. Which is why it was pretty easy to predict that he''d annihilate that 9 minutes once they''re facing the tough stages. Simply because Voeckler and his team aren''t in the same class.

As for the cancer, interestingly enough one could say that Armstrong maybe has achieved what he achieved not despite but because of cancer. I think it was also Amstrong to say that him having suffered from cancer is an unfair advantage because he knows what real pain is.