Lance Armstrong Can't Not Be The Top Dog

Lance Armstrong said he just wanted to get some exercise and maybe promote his wristbands, because after four years off, expecting him to win the Tour de France would just be silly. What's that? He's in first place now? Lovely.

Armstrong's Astana team tore up a time trial today leaving him in a virtual tie with Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland for leadership of the Tour. (Cancellara will wear the yellow jersey based on fractions of a second.) But when Armstrong joined Astana it already had a leader, Alberto Contador, who won the race in 2007. Surely, he would be the one that the team would back as its premier rider?

But then in Stage Three, Lance saw his moment and burst off with the lead pack to gain 40 seconds on Contador. And Armstrong was clearly doing most of the pushing in the team trial. Now four stages in, Lance is tied for first, Contador is in third, and his team is going to have to make a decision about which horse to back.

That's if Lance doesn't decide to chuck it all and head back to Hollywood. He was fined by race officials yesterday for showing up late to a pre-stage registration. Where was he? Talking Dodgeball sequels with Ben Stiller. (Seriously. Stiller was there to award the yellow jersey to Cancellara today for some reason.) I don't understand why the French are so down on this guy!

This all could all mean nothing, of course, because the riders haven't even reached the mountains where ... say it with me ... "the race really begins." There's also the possibility that I have no idea what I'm talking about. Cycling on TV is surprisingly difficult to follow. What's the deal with all those European accents, Versus?

Stage 4 Astana Wins TTT, Armstrong Misses Yellow [Bicycling]
Lance rewrites the script [Yahoo]