Lance Armstrong's dreams of an eighth victory in the Tour de France tumbled to a halt literally as he was involved in three crashes in yesterday's stage leaving him 13:26 off the race leader Cadel Evans.
The American's woes began six kilometres into the race, when a domino effect from a crash at the front of the peloton forced him to swerve on to a grass verge. At the 140km (87-mile) mark, Armstrong fell as the peloton were navigating past a roundabout and needed his team-mates to bring him back to the main field.
As if that wasn’t enough, the RadioShack rider was left fuming when he was unseated as a result of two Euskaltel Euskadi riders colliding in front of him.
The defending champion, Alberto Contador of Spain, stayed with the leaders up until the final kilometre. Then, after finishing 10 seconds behind, he trails Australian world champion by 1:01 in the general classification.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, who stayed with the pace until final three kilometres, is 14th overall, 2:45 behind Evans.
Today is a rest day - a time for reflection by Armstrong who can only dream of what might have been.