2010 Tour de France: Cancellara Regains Yellow Jersey

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara is back in the driver’s seat after four days of action at the Tour de France while seven-time champion Lance Armstrong dropped out of the top ten after enduring a heavy damage in the cobblestone-riddled Stage 3.

Cancellara, who lost the overall classification lead on Monday, regained the Yellow Jersey after finishing in the breakaway group that included five other riders, including stage winner Thor Hushovd of Norway. Cancellara and Hushovd were joined in the first group by Cadel Evans of Australia, Geraint Thomas of the UK, and 2009 runner-up Andy Schleck.

Armstrong, on the other hand, finished the 213-kilometer stage two minutes and eight seconds behind the leaders to drop from 5th to 18th place in the overall classification, 2:30 behind Cancellara. Armstrong, who was derailed by a punctured tire, said he was “very frustrated,” with his result in Tuesday’s 3rd stage but remained optimistic of his chances in what he says is his last Tour. “We lost significant time, so we just have to keep our head up and take our chances on the climbs,” he said.

Meanwhile, defending champion Alberto Contador stayed close to the stage leaders to finish 1:13 behind. The Spanish rider is now ninth overall but is only 1:40 behind in the race for the Yellow Jersey. Running second in the overall standing is Thomas at 23 seconds behind Cancellara followed by two-time runner up Evans. Erstwhile Yellow Jersey holder Sylvain Chavanel dropped to fifth place while Schleck is in sixth place at 1:09.

Action will continue on Wednesday with the riders taking on the 153.5KM Cambrai-Reims stage.