Contador Position 1 In Tour De France - Lance Armstrong Is Third
MONT VENTOUX, FRANCE - Alberto Contador of Spain retained the leadership of the 2009 Tour De France and the coveted yellow jersey after completing Saturday's Stage 20 race, which was a 167 km ride from Montélimar to Mont Ventoux in France. It was a very tough ride at the end and involved a 1668 metre steep continuous uphill climb to the finish line at Mont Ventoux, over a climbing distance of approximately 22 km.
The winner of Stage 20 was Spain's Juan Manuel Garate, who completed the race in four hours 39 minutes and 21 seconds. Second place in today's Stage 20 race was taken by Tony Martin from Germany who finished 3 seconds behind Garate with a time of 4:39:24. Luxembourg's Andy Schleck was third today and retained his second place position in the overall Tour results.
For America's Lance Armstong (see photo above), who finished fifth in today's Stage 20 race, the seven-time Tour De France winner was able to retain his third place position in the overall results. Armstrong has a number of riders who are after his third place podium position and he will also be looking to improve his finishing time versus Contador in the final Stage 21 race tomorrow.
In the overall 2009 Tour De France standings the top five positions are: Alberto Contador in the lead followed by Andy Schleck (+4:11), Lance Armstrong (+5:24), Bradley Wiggins (+6:01) and Frank Schleck (+6:04).
Tomorrow (Sunday July 26) is the final Stage 21 race that starts in Montereau Fault Yonne and finishes 164 km later in Paris at the Champs Elysées. The race is normally a wind-down for the riders, but because of the close competition at the front, it is expected that the leaders will be riding this last stage very fast. Stage 21 has no climbs and from the start to the finish the difference in elevation is just 73 metres over the 164 km race distance. Alberto Contador has a significant lead (+4:11) over second place Andy Schleck, but the difference between third place Armstrong and Schleck is just 1 minute 13 seconds so there may be a race between the two for second place if Lance Armstrong has the energy to break away early on and narrow the gap between himself and Schleck.
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