Lance on Lance's Decline at Stage 14


After Stage 14, Lance is in trouble. _Ullrich is looking very strong at 15 seconds behind and Vino is just 18 seconds, tomorrow is the last mountain stage and Lance hasn't been great at the individual time trials...gulp, here's his own personal assessment_
With astonishing frankness, Armstrong spoke about his supposed 'decline'. "It's fair (to ask that); I'm not riding as well as I have in years past," he admitted. "I can't exactly say why, but I wouldn't argue with people who say I'm declining. This is a sport where you can not only look at the differences between other riders, but you can look at the times on certain climbs. If you look at the times on l'Alpe d'Huez, that's four minutes slower, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that that guy is not as strong as he was two years ago. Something is not clicking."
"I knew it was going to be close but I probably didn't expect it to come down to the last few decisive stages," he added. "There's one more day in the mountains and the final time trial. But, hey, I mean something's not gone right... but there's nothing I can do about that now; all I can do is wake up every morning and do my best. And that's what I'm doing. If we get to (the final time trial in) Nantes and I have fifteen seconds (lead) and I lose by the time trial by sixteen, it will go down as the closest Tour de France in history. And I'll go home and have a cold beer and come back next year. So I'm not going to cry and whine; I'm just going do my best."