Lance Armstrong Pessimistic About Tour de France Chances After 3rd Place Snowy Brasstown Bald Showing

The AP reports Lance Armstrong finished third on a snowy Brasstown Bald leg in the Tour de Georgia and he is believed to have told associates that he’s not strong enough now to repeat as Tour de Georgia or Tour de France cycling champion.

Teammate Tom Danielson (on the Discovery Channel team) won the leg and took overall lead. Placing second by 15 seconds was Levi Leipheimer.

The peak has earned the International Cycling Union’s toughest classification — Hors Catagorie, or beyond categorization. Saturday’s course also included another tough climb, up the 3,518-foot Hogpen Gap, which set up a final ascent before the demanding task of conquering Brasstown Bald.

The riders on Friday endured heavy rain, thunderstorms and, at times, hail during Stage 4 in a storm that caused President Bush to cancel his planned Earth Day visit to the Smokies. Brasstown Bald offered sleet, snow flurries and temperatures in the mid-30s.

Tour de Georgia web site