After the Tour’s stage 16, the Discovery Channel Team (Lance Armstong’s old squad) is out of contention for this year’s Tour. In a year when several of the world’s top riders were banned from the event with doping charges, George Hincapie, the team’s new leader, struggled to keep up with the remaining top riders. His struggle is especially tough because Hincapie had been with Armstrong during all 7 of his Tour wins and he won a stage of the Tour last year.
On a brighter note, two Americans are still in contention and riding well. Levi Leipheimer of the Gerolsteiner team is currently in 9th place, 00:07:46 behind the leader, Oscar Pereiro of Spain. Floyd Landis of the Phonak team is in 11th place, 00:08:08 minutes behind the leader.
Even in a long race like the Tour de France, these time differences are difficult to make up. Landis, however, is a very good climber and does well in time trials. There is one 57.5km time trial left and a couple of major climbs.