posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 04:36 PM
QUIMPER, France -- Now for some well-earned rest and relaxation, Tour de France style.
Battered and bruised physically and mentally by a crash-filled first week, cyclists get their first day of rest Monday -- a chance to treat wounds,
sleep in and steel themselves for the first mountainous stages ahead.
"It's been a crazy first week. I don't ever remember doing one like that," said five-time champion Lance Armstrong, who's nervous that a crash could
end his bid for a record sixth crown.
Norway's Thor Hushovd won Sunday's hilly but fast stage through Brittany in western France, using a closing burst of speed to win the 104-mile stage
from Lamballe to Quimper in 3 hours, 54 minutes, 22 seconds.
Armstrong remained in sixth place overall, 9 minutes and 35 seconds behind leader Thomas Voeckler. American Tyler Hamilton is 36 seconds behind the
32-year-old Texan, and rival Jan Ullrich is 55 seconds back.
"I had trouble because it was slippery and dangerous," said Ullrich, the 1997 champion and five-time runner-up.
All four riders clocked the same time as Hushovd. Ullrich finished 21st, Hamilton 30th, Armstrong 33rd and Voeckler 58th.