Igor Galdeano was not happy about gaining time on his rivals because of a crash.
"To gain time always it is important, but I am not happy how one has taken place. I like to win on the highway and not because my rivals have fallen. I hope, in addition, that Armstrong is not injured. The bad luck can happen to anyone - yesterday it was Armstrong, but today it could be me."
Indeed, Igor Galdeano and Armstrong spoke yesterday for the first time since the man from Alava became leader of the Tour." I approached Armstrong to say he had not spoken to me since I took the yellow jersey and he said to me that it was just because of the tension of the race "
Miguel Indurain gave his assessment of Gonzalez Galdeano's chances for the rest of the Tour.
"He (Gonzalez Galdeano) has now beaten Armstrong on his own territory and so he we will feel optimistic about the rest of the race," Indurain said.
"But the American remains the favourite. The differences between the two are minimal and there is still another time trial to come before they hit the mountains."
Gonzalez Galdeano became the first Spaniard to wear the leader's yellow jersey in the Tour since Indurain in 1995 thanks to a slick performance from his ONCE team to help them win Wednesday's 67.5km fourth stage team time trial.
Indurain said that claiming the yellow jersey for the first time was a major achievement for the ONCE rider, but that he would have his work cut out to retain it.
"He is going to have a very tough job because he has Armstrong to beat, and if the American is in the same shape as the last few years, then bad luck," he said.
But Indurain, who dominated the Tour with five consecutive victories between 1991 and 1995, said even Armstrong would struggle at some point in the race.
"At the moment Armstrong looks very strong and he has a great team, but it should never be forgotten that everyone has some bad moments in the Tour," he said.
"But if one of his coincides with the mountains and his rivals get to find out then anything could happen."(Reuters)
Richard Virenque's target is the Polka Dot King of the Mountains jersey. He has won the jersey on five occasions and another victory would put him level with Federico Martín Bahamontes and Lucien Van Impe.
The climber also reveals that one of his favourite riders is Óscar Seville. "He has the passion to race - he reminds me of myself in my younger years." Virenque is now 32 years old.
"But he is a much more complete rider than I ever was. He can time trial better than I. But it is too soon to be demanding great things from him, but his future looks very exciting."
Marco Pantani's eight-month suspension for doping was lifted on Saturday by the appeals commission of the Italian cycling federation, cycling officials were quoted as saying.
Word of cancellation of the suspension for the 32-year-old captain of the Mercatone Uno team came from Luigi Renga, president of the federation's appeals commission, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Renga was quoted by independent websites as saying Pantani's suspension was lifted "for not having committed any infraction."
"There was no certain evidence against Pantani, only assumptions," Renga was quoted as saying.
Federation officials said they could not immediately confirm that the suspension had been lifted.
The decision means that Pantani, a Giro and Tour de France winner in 1998, will be able to start in upcoming international races and, if included on the Italian team, in the World road Championship.
Pantani had been suspended by the disciplininary commission of the cycling federation last month but his lawyers had appealed the decision.
The suspension stemmed from an investigation into forbidden substances seized during police raids at the hotels of competing teams during last year's Giro d'Italia.
Pantani was investigated after an insulin-filled syringe was found in his hotel room. Pantani maintained that the insulin was not his.
Insulin, commonly used by diabetics, also aids the circulation of growth hormones, which can build muscle mass and increase endurance. (Sapa-AP)
Gugliemo Pesenti, the Italian sprint cycling legend Gugliemo Pesenti has died at the age of 68.
The former world record holder at 200 meters and 500 meters won the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and two world titles in 1956 and 1957. He also won the 1932 Tour of Italy and came third in the previous year's Tour de France.
"His death is a blow to me and we didn't see him nearly enough," said Frenchman Michel Rousseau, silver medalist behind Pesenti during the 1956 Olympics.