After a difficult climb in Stage 8 of the Tour de France, Cadel Evans has moved into the overall lead and Lance Armstrong has faded way back, 13:26 behind the leader. On Twitter Armstrong remarked: "When it rains it pours I guess. Today was not my day needless to say. Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks."
The first of three crashes for Armstrong came in the beginning 10K, an inauspicious start for a difficult race day for the 7-time Tour De France champion as the peloton climbed into the French Alps. The intense second crash required the replacement of his bike. Although Armstrong's teammates paced him back toward the lead riders, he couldn't sustain the effort on the mountain climbs and the next crashes diminished any hope he might have had.
Andy Schleck mounted and sustained an attack which placed him first for the Stage, 11 minutes and 45 seconds ahead of Armstrong. Levi Leipheimer, now 8th overall, now seems Team RadioShack's best hope; he trails the overall lead by 2:14.
Tuesday's Stage 9, after a rest day tomorrow, is considered by many to be the most difficult of the Tour, sure to weed out the weak. A trek from Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne puts riders in the main Alpine stage, and the finish is a descent rather than a summit.
The closest topography Baltimore would have to the next day's stage would likely be out in Western Maryland's Deep Creek area, punctuated by the Allegheny mountains in the area which hosts the aptly named "Savage Man" triathlons.