SAARBRUECKEN, Germany -- Lance Armstrong enjoyed a relaxed ride in Monday's stage of the Tour de France, while some struggled to get to the finish.
"It was nervous today, but quite easy," the three-time defending champion said.
Armstrong finished the second stage in 61st place, and slipped to fourth in the overall standings. He isn't expected to bid for the lead until the race reaches the mountains next week.
Oscar Freire of Spain won the 112.2-mile trek, sprinting over the line just ahead of the main pack that included Armstrong. Swiss rider Rubens Bertogliati retained the leader's yellow jersey he took from Armstrong on Sunday.
Norway's Thor Hushovd shared the lead for much of the day but finished last after stopping several times with cramps.