France: Seven-times champion Lance Armstrong is not expecting any presents from the peloton as he searches for a stage win in his final Tour de France.
The 38-year-old American, who finished third last year on his comeback Tour after retirement, finished Sunday’s 14th stage in 70th place, 15 minutes 14 seconds behind winner Christophe Riblon of France. He is 38th in the overall standings, 39:44 off the pace.
“I’d still like to get one (a stage win). The race is hard, nobody’s gonna give it away,” Armstrong told reporters.
“I don’t want anybody to say ‘hey, let’s let the old man have one’, that’s not what this event is about. It’s a hard sport and the best guy is supposed to win on a daily basis and on a three-week basis,” he said.
“I don’t need somebody to hand me one (stage win). I do my best, but as you know, we’re running out of chances.”
The RadioShack rider had a solid start to his Tour with a strong showing in the prologue but things then went from bad to worse.
He lost time with a puncture on the cobblestones of stage three and crashed in the first stage in the Alps last Sunday as his hopes of the overall win vanished.
Having been dropped in the first of two punishing climbs in Sunday’s first Pyrenean stage, Armstrong took his time.
“I sat up and I enjoyed it. It’s a unique experience for me to have the time to look around, look at people. I’m not going to win the Tour but I’m going out there to have a good time,” a relaxed Armstrong said.