Lance Armstrong is reflecting on a remarkable Tour de France career which will end in Paris on Sunday.
Armstrong (Team RadioShack) fell short chasing a 26th Tour stage victory as Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bougyues Telecom) won a sprint finish between eight breakaway riders to claim victory on the 199.5km 16th stage from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau. The 38-year-old, who is racing in his 13th and final Tour, rolled back the years and was again the main protagonist on a major mountain stage at cycling's most prestigious race.
"It was full gas all day," he said. "I focused on the stage, tried to get up in the moves and it didn't work - I wasn't fast enough in the end.
"Fedrigo's very fast and he deserved to win."
On his impending departure as a Tour rider, Armstrong added: "Lance Armstrong is over in about four or five days."
With Armstrong now all but in the past, focus will return to the present and the near future and Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle for the yellow jersey.
Contador (Astana), the two-time winner, is currently in possession of the yellow jersey with an eight-second lead over Schleck, who lost the prize in controversial circumstances when his chain slipped on Monday.
Schleck was furious with Contador for exploiting his predicament, but is now focused on taking revenge in the mountains on Thursday.
The 25-year-old from Luxembourg said: "Eight seconds is nothing in the third week of the Tour.
"I think that whoever gets to the top of the Tourmalet first on Thursday will win the Tour."