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Vaughters’ views: Alas, Babylon … are these the final days?

It's confirmed, the world will end soon, as Lance finished second. Look at the evidence folks: The stock market is crashing, wildfires are burning everywhere, nuclear tensions, terrorists’ threats and now Lance Armstrong has finished second in an individual time trial at the Tour de France. The world is clearly coming to a premature close, so make sure you're wearing clean underwear. Never mind that finishing second in a Tour TT is a miracle in itself, for a guy who had ten pounds of tumors in his body just a little while ago. Even so, I have to say I was surprised to see Lance get beaten.

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By Jonathan Vaughters, Crédit Agricole cycling team

It’s confirmed, the world will end soon, as Lance finished second.

Look at the evidence folks: The stock market is crashing, wildfires are burning everywhere, nuclear tensions, terrorists’ threats and now Lance Armstrong has finished second in an individual time trial at the Tour de France. The world is clearly coming to a premature close, so make sure you’re wearing clean underwear.

Never mind that finishing second in a Tour TT is a miracle in itself, for a guy who had ten pounds of tumors in his body just a little while ago. Even so, I have to say I was surprised to see Lance get beaten. That said, he has closed the gap on Botero a considerable amount since the last time they went head-to-head at the Dauphine. Botero was 42 seconds ahead of Lance in that one.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the wind was steadily increasing as the day went on, which makes it harder to compare Botero’s time with Lance’s. To me the results don’t really show much weakness in our superhero, so keep the Gatling gun in the basement for the moment.

Otherwise, the day showed that this may be one of the hardest fought Tours since my all time fav’ in ’87. It seems there are quite a few candidates that have stepped up their game in Jan Ullrich’s absence.

My day was essentially a rest day, as I rode the TT at half mast trying to recover from the damage the race has done to me in the first eight days. It is humbling to realize that in order to arrive to the mountains in working condition, I had to give up putting my best into an event I love. However, I realize the limits of my body, and so I took it easy hoping my day will come in the last week.

This demonstrates why just because a rider is a good TT rider, and a good climber, doesn’t mean he’ll be a good Tour rider. Dauphine? Sure. Vuelta, Giro? Maybe, but in the Tour de France you have to be able to support an immense amount of fast, hard racing before the time trial or mountains even happen.

And that, folks, is just not me.