8 Jul 2009

Armstrong a whisker away from yellow jersey

6:26 am on 8 July 2009

After nearly four years in retirement, the seven times Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is just a whisker away from the leader's yellow jersey in his comeback event after his Astana team won the fourth stage, a teams time trial.

Astana beat Julian Dean's Garmin-Slipstream into second with Saxo Bank in third.

The Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara held a 40-second lead over Armstrong going into the stage, and that was the time by which Astana beat Cancellara's Saxo Bank team, but the two riders have been credited with the same overall time.

After four stages, Armstrong, who retired after winning the last of his record seventh title in 2005, now has the same overall time as race leader Cancellara but is placed behind him after the results of the opening stage in Monaco is taken into account.