Sunday, July 10, 2005


Holding Back or Moving Forward?

YIELDING THE MAILLOT JAUNE. On the surface it would seem that Lance Armstrong fell behind today. He finished over two minutes behind Jens Voigt, who finished third in today's mountain stage. Voigt, the German on team CSC had been in second place; he took over the Yellow Jersey as race leader. Is Lance struggling? Is Discovery Channel letting the race slip away?

A CALCULATED RISK. Vehemently, no--to both questions. Armstrong and the Discovery Channel team permitted the breakaways of Mickael Rasmussen, Christophe Moreau, and Jens Voigt, then controlled the pace of the peloton as the escapees finished ahead of the pack. The team calculated that Voigt, though a top-flight rider, is not strong enough to lead through the upcoming Alps and Pyrenees mountains. They also removed the pressure of defending the yellow jersey as team. Not having to defend it will give them some "rest" in the peloton. They will also be able to plot their best way to recapture without the pressure of being the target of every team and attacker.

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