Armstrong steals show on classic Pyrenees climbs

Paris: Lance Armstrong stole the show in the 199.5-kms 16th stage of the Tour de France won by France`s Pierrick Fedrigo in Pau on Tuesday.

The seven-times champion, whose hopes of an eighth Tour victory was dashed following a crash in the Alps during stage eight, proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with when he attacked from the gun in Bagneres de Luchon and stayed in the front all day.

The American sprinted in the final stretch, but at nearly 39, was forced to let Fedrigo, compatriot Sandy Casar and Spain`s Ruben Plaza battle it out for the day`s laurels.

Armstrong finished sixth in the stage, six minutes and 45 seconds ahead of the peloton.

Tour leader and defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain retained his eight-seconds overall lead over Luxembourg`s Andy Schleck as the two favourites for final victory preserved energy for a potentially decisive showdown at the top of the Tourmalet in Thursday`s 17th stage.

The long ride celebrated the 100 years of the first stage in the Pyrenees in 1910 and included the four climbs on the course that year, Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque.

The peloton enjoys a rest day in Pau on Wednesday.

Bureau Report

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