The seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is already looking towards the Alpine stages of the Tour, after a frustrating day on the dreaded cobbles of the third stage left him tumbling down the standings.
The seven sections of cobblestones covering 13km over the 213km third stage, played a decisive role with Armstrong ultimately emerged as the main loser.
He went from fifth place with a five-second lead on Spain's reigning champion Alberto Contador to 18th overall, losing precious time after suffering a flat tyre on the cobbles.
The Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara regained the race leader's yellow jersey after the stage was one by Norway's Thor Hushovd, with Cancellara sixth gaining an overall lead of 23 seconds.
The Tour heads upwards as of this weekend for three stage although the mountain terrain isn't considered the best for mounting an attack on the lead.