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Lance Armstrong stays second in Tour de France as Astaloza wins Stage 16

22/7/2009
In perhaps his strongest performance of the tournament so far, American cycling hero Lance Armstrong finished runner-up in the latest heat of the Tour de France. Stage 16 of the prestigious competition was eventually won by Mikel Astaloza of Spain.

Despite this there were plenty of reasons for seven time winner Armstrong to stay positive as he still remains in second place on the overall leader board. In fact the 37 year-old believes he still has a hope of wearing the yellow leader’s jersey in the future if his team mate and overall leader Alberto Contador has a “bad day”.

The Stage took the form of a 99-mile race from the Swiss town of Martigny to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France. Armstrong’s performance was characterised by a superb burst of acceleration typical of the man in his younger years."I had no choice... so I waited until we had a steeper section and then I got away with an acceleration," he explained after recovering from a 35-second deficit.

Contador also praised Armstrong saying: "It's easy to explain, he's a very great rider. He was in the past, and he showed it once again.”

Armstrong’s career has been defined with successful battles against the odds in and out of the saddle and it would be foolish to rule him out of the race even at this stage. Bookmakers are offering odds on Armstrong winning the Tour de France at between 14/1 and 20/1. At this point he trails his Astana teammate by 1:37 with the Tour concludes on Sunday in Paris.
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