Tour de France 2010: Crashes End Armstrong Title Bid

Lance Armstrong‘s bid for an eighth Tour de France title is over. Armstrong was involved in three crashes on Sunday’s Stage 8, causing the seven-time winner to finish close to 12 minutes behind in 61st place. The 38-year-old American, who fell down in one of the crashes and struggled in two tough climbs, dropped to 39th overall, 13:26 behind new leader Cadel Evans of Australia.

Armstrong immediately conceded after the stage, which featured the Tour’s first climbs of the Alps. “My Tour is finished,” he said. “Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks.” Armstrong had said that this year’s Tour, his 13th, will be his last.

Meanwhile, 2009 runner-up Andy Schleck won his first stage this year, as he outclimbed fellow title contenders Evans and defending champion Alberto Contador. Schleck, of Luxembourg, finished the 189-kilometer stage in four hours, 54 minutes, and 11 seconds, ten seconds ahead of Evans and Contador.

However, Schleck is 20 seconds behind Evans in the overall standings. Contador moved up to third place, 1:01 out of the lead.

The riders will be take a break on Monday but will return to action on Tuesday with the 204.5-KM Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne ninth stage.