Tour de France Update: Sans Radio, Lance Feels Naked
Text by Christian Camerota
One wonders if the ban on earpieces for today's 10th stage led to any trash talking between a certain two Astana teamates.
In what's been labeled an attempt to jazz up some typically lackluster mid-race stages, Tour de France officials have banned radio communication between riders and their teams' cars for the 10th and 13th legs. Their hope was that without the coordination offered teams by staying in constant contact, the competition would be more spaced out and vulnerable to concerted attacks.
Lance Armstrong argued it was just the Tour's way of injecting drama artificially, something he called "a lot to do about nothing." And, indeed, the ploy did little to make the stage more exciting. Britain's Mark Cavendish won by a bike length over Thor Hushovd of Norway, capturing his third stage victory of this year's race, and the overall leaderboard remained the same, with Rinaldo Nocentini of Italy hanging onto the yellow jersey, and Alberto Contador and Armstrong 6 and 8 seconds back, respectively.
Tour officials are debating whether or not to keep the radio ban in place for Friday's more mountainous Vittel to Colmar route, but strong lobbying from riders and team officials alike may dissuade them from upholding it. Armstrong was among the detractors.
"I can't hear anything, I don't know anything…I feel naked," he said in jest before the race began. Much to the dismay of many female fans, Armstrong managed to keep his wits and clothes about him on the 194.5-kilometer ride from Limoges to Issoudun.
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