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Lance Armstrong was happy to finally get a crash-free stage under his belt as the Tour de France headed gradually towards the Alps on Wednesday.
However, the 38-year-old seven-time champion cut his media duties short at the RadioShack team bus moments after an unidentified heckler started shouting insults at the American.
In May, at the Tour of Luxembourg, Armstrong confronted a heckler who leveled insults that suggested the American was a drugs cheat. And on Wednesday an unidentified man again shouted “cheat” and “dopehead” several times before Armstrong departed.
Before then the American, who lost precious time to his yellow-jersey rivals on the cobblestones of stage 3 on Tuesday, admitted he was happy to have an almost normal stage on the bike.
“I didn’t want to have a third day in a row of bad luck, so … (it’s) nice that everybody stayed up (on their bikes),” said Armstrong.
Asked what his strategy would likely be ahead of three days in the Alps, including two summit finishes, Armstrong said there was still plenty of time for him to close his deficit.
“I think now you just got to pick up a few guys and focus on them … it’s easy to look at the GC and say, ‘Gosh, there’s 17 guys ahead of you.’
“But for the most part the vast majority of them won’t be there (at the end).”