Tour de France 2020

Tour de France peloton sad to see Lance Armstrong’s woes

Contador, Gesink, Evans and others respond to Armstrong's difficulty. Most predict we'll see more of Armstrong in this Tour

Reaction was strong among the Tour de France peloton to Lance Armstrong’s troubles in Sunday’s stage. Most riders expressed condolences for Armstrong’s bad luck Sunday, when he crashed three times and dropped out of contention for the overall Tour victory.

Here’s a sampling of what some of the Tour riders had to say:

Alberto Contador (Astana): “He really had some bad luck. Yesterday, we lived through an experience that we will never see again. When I saw the repeat of the stage last night on television, I was thinking about all the victories that he has won. He obviously didn’t have his best day. All of the bad luck came together at once. I didn’t enjoy seeing this. I’ve always had a lot of admiration for him. If he finishes this Tour, I will have even more.”

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank): “I felt very sorry for him. We’ve become friends and I admire him as a champion. He had some really bad luck, but that’s sport. I am sure he will chase a stage victory in this Tour. I have all the respect for him. I feel bad for him because he wanted to ride a good last Tour.”

Ivan Basso (Liquigas): “I have a special admiration for Lance. I am his friend and I respect him a lot as a rider. He came to this Tour super-determined to do well and without his crashes (Sunday), I am sure he would have been able to finish with the best. He would have fought to the end for the yellow jersey. I am sure with his willpower and ambition, he will set other goals in this Tour. I am sure he will do something great before this Tour is over.”

Cadel Evans (BMC):
“I am a Lance Armstrong fan. It’s sad to see such a fantastic Tour de France career to end like that. He just had some really bad luck. That was a really dangerous moment of the race to crash.  I’ve had bad luck, too. I’ve crashed and suffered in the mountains, so I know exactly how he feels.”

Carlos Sastre (Cervélo):
“A rider of his quality will never throw in the towel. His setbacks are a result of bad luck. He was looking like he was in very good shape. Last year, I had my doubts about his comeback, but this year, he was very convincing on the bike. Something true about Armstrong is that he has a good head on his shoulders. He won so many Tours not only because he was strong, but because he was also very intelligent. If he’s capable, he will try something still in this Tour. Now they will ride for Levi in the GC. I see Levi stronger than ever. Nothing is over for Lance or his team in this Tour.”

Robert Gesink (Rabobank): “I was aware that it was a special day because it was the last time anyone would see Armstrong fight for the GC in a grand tour. He had a really tough day, with a lot of bad luck. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of him in this Tour. His GC hopes are finished, but he’s still capable of a lot.”

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo):
“It’s a pity that he crashed three times. It’s not good for the Tour. Everyone would have liked to have seen him battling for the victory. That’s sport. We all know that he is a tough guy. Hopefully he can still show something and win a stage. Everyone knows he has a strong character.”