After four stages in the Tour de France, American Lance Armstrong is already the leader, wearing the yellow jersey. Armstrong's team, the United States Postal Service, won the 65 kilometer team time trial yesterday with a time of 1:12:03 in the driving rain. Armstrong now leads the race by ten seconds over his teammate George Hincapie and by 16 seconds over another teammate, Floyd Landis. It's the first time in Tour history that Americans have held the top three spots at once. Team Postal Service also holds the fourth and fifth spots in the current standings. Two challengers for Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ullrich trail by 36 and 55 seconds respectively.
Despite taking the lead so early in the 20 stage race, Armstrong said that the goal is not to hold on to the lead now, but to have it by the end of the race in Paris. "Our objective is not to defend the jersey. It's not in the best interest of the team. You have to preserve the strength of the team for the second half." With that in mind, USPS will set their sights on the second half of the race and the mountain stages where Armstrong thrives.