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On a day that should have seen no big changes on the leaderboard of the Tour de France, the strong crosswinds of the Mediterranean coast split up the main pack and several of the big favorites lost precious seconds. The big winner of the day–aside from Mark Cavendish, who bagged his second stage victory–was 37-year-old Lance Armstrong, who jumped from 10th to 3rd overall and is 40 seconds behind leader Fabian Cancellara.
Boulder’s Garmin-Slipstream team did not have any riders in the lead group today. Their highest placed rider, Bradley Wiggins, dropped from 3rd to 5th place and is now one minute back from Cancellara.
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Things should get really interesting tomorrow with the return of the team time-trial, last seen in the Tour in 2005. The 24-mile course in and around Montpellier has some small climbs and technical turns, and should provideÂ true drama as Armstrong’s team Astana battles with Cancellara’s Saxo Bank squad for the coveted yellow jersey. Look for Garmin and Columbia-HTC to be in the mix as well.