The old days of Lance Armstrong’s team controlling the Tour de France are over. His RadioShack team suffered at the hands of Saxo Bank in Tuesday’s stage three to Arenberg, letting Andy Schleck’s Saxo Bank hammer at the head over the cobbled roads.

Without RadioShack at the front, Armstrong was vulnerable to losing time to crashes or mechanicals. In sector four, Sars-et-Rosières, disaster struck. Andy Schleck’s brother, Fränk, crashed and held up Armstrong. Unlike many other favourites, though, Armstrong lost further time to a punctured tyre.

When Armstrong ruled the Tour de France for seven years (1999 to 2005), he kept his US Postal/Discovery Channel team on the front at all times to avoid such mishaps. Today, though, RadioShack showed it lacked strength or perhaps lacked faith in their leader’s ability.

“That’s just the nature of the sport,” said Armstrong. “Some times you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail. Today I was the nail, but I had plenty of days where I was the hammer.”

He continued to rattle off clichés, perhaps preparing for a political career. First though, he plans on fighting for Tour de France win number eight, making up his one minute and 21 second deficit to Schleck.

Armstrong said, “I am not going home.”

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Thomas in tour’s white jersey; Wiggins gains time

Evans and Schleck gain in Tour’s hell of the north

The Feed Zone: Tour news and views (July 6)

Vande Velde abandons Tour following crash

Andy Schleck has a laugh after stage two crash

The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)

Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage

Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out

Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream

Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special