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Armstrong Plagued With Flat Tire, Falls To 18th Overall

Armstrong, bruised and bloodied from yesterday’s spills, had another day of bad luck as an “ill-timed flat tire” left him alone, behind the pack, and “pedaling furiously.” By the time this 3rd stage was done, Armstrong had dropped from 5th to 18 place overall, and was 50 seconds behind Contador.

Armstrong, when asked about today’s ride, was grim but circumspect:

“We’re not going home but it’s very frustrating. I’m not going to make any excuses. We came in here today in good position. First there was a crash that split the group, we hung tough, and then got the flat tire right at the wrong moment. It’s the nature of the sport. Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail. Today I was the nail.”

Armstrong and his team, which include Levi Leipheimer, had hoped to make up critical time on the cobblestones before the hilly stages start, but didn’t get the chance.

Will bad luck end Armstrong’s final bid for the TDF 2010 title? Stay tuned…

For the full details, see the official TDF website and this Los Angeles Times article.