Cancellara Takes 2nd in TT, Lance Moves to Third

Cycling : Tour de France 2009 / Stage 18

Yellow jersey Alberto Contador flew around the 40.5km Annecy time trial course to win the stage and cement his lead in the Tour de France. Contador beat Oakley time trial specialist Fabian Cancellara by less than three seconds.

Oakley’s Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) rode what for him was a phenomenal time trial, finishing in 21st and holding onto his second overall placing.

Lance Armstrong admitted suffering during Thursday’s time trial in the Tour de France, but says his aim now is to defend his third place in the overall standings in Saturday’s climb up Mount Ventoux and even mount a challenge for second against Andy Schleck.

Armstrong finished the time trial around Lake Annecy in 16th at 1:30 behind stage winner Contador. The American said his goal is to ride well on Ventoux, protect on his spot on GC or even move up on his rival for second place, Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck.

Armstrong, who has won the Tour seven times, is 5:25 behind the Spaniard overall, while Andy Schleck is at 4:11.

And Armstrong says the battle for second could well be decided on Saturday’s 21.1km climb up Mont Ventoux.

“I want to protect my position with Andy climbing so well, I just have to watch for the moves and don’t let him get away,” said Armstrong.


Tess Weaver


July 23, 2009