Cycling – Tour de France week two

news: Cycling - Tour de France week two

Until last Friday, the field was just ambling along as temperatures rose, sometimes behind straying cattle, seemingly waiting for someone to make a move. Home favourite Thomas Voeckler retained the overall lead almost throughout week two with the others content to sit behind. The race proper finally exploded into action on the slopes of La Mungie, on Friday afternoon, with Lance Armstrong pushing Iban Mayo, in first, all the way to the line. Principal challengers Jan Ullrich and Tyler Hamilton faded in the leading pairs’ slipstream and were left with a mountain to climb. Armstrong went into last weekend’s stages continuing to pile on the pressure, taking seconds out of the field at every steep incline. He finished Saturday’s stage wearing the yellow leader’s jersey, cutting Voeckler’s lead to just 22 seconds. Tyler Hamilton could not take the pace and abandoned his challenge with a bad back. The expression on Jan Ullrich’s face spelt defeat and all the signs are that Armstrong will clinch his record sixth title. The Tour will climax this Sunday in Paris and cycling will have a new legend, who in all likelihood will last forever.