SHOOT: Not sure if I agree with Armstrong's use of the trispoke in front. It's a momentum wheel, and if you're tired and have to do a climb, you want a lighter rim that you can accelarate with quicker - like a deep section.
I see Contador rode with a similar combination, but the difference is, he was strong enough to handle a heavier combination.
"I felt good at the beginning, I felt smooth, but there was a tail-wind, so maybe everyone felt good," the 37-year-old Texan added. "I just wasn't that strong on the climb."
SHOOT: Andy Schleck had the right combination.
SHOOT: A few people have commented that Lance's performance at Annecy shows he is getting old. How quickly they forget that 10-15 weeks ago he broke his collar bone. Anyone else would not even have entered the Tour de France. That Lance has achieved what he has, in spite of his age [he's 38 now] and despite breaking his collarbone, is incredible. Sad to see so many suffering from ADD.
Also, bad team tactics from Contador [riding off Kloden] and Kloden [not waiting for Armstrong] in the prior stage wasn't good for Armstrong's legs - something he mentions. It's tough to do a good time trial if you burn your legs the day before. Something Armstrong hasn't often done in the past, or had to do.
The final top three places are expected to be decided on Saturday's 20th stage from Montelimar to the summit of the 1912-metre Mont Ventoux - aka the Giant of Provence, one of the most feared climbs in cycling.
It was on the sun-baked scree slopes that British rider Tom Simpson collapsed and died in 1967. The 21.2km climb, which can be seen from kilometres away in many directions and works its way through a forest for the first half before opening into a barren final haul, is torturous. It has 7.6 per cent average gradient and lacks switchbacks which can offer relief.
Often there are also strong headwinds, and the suffocating humidity and heat of a Provencal summer.