Lance Armstrong in Dodgeball 2

Lance Armstrong met with Ben Stiller about appearing in the upcoming Dodgeball 2. Remember, Lance also had a small cameo in the original with Vince Vaughn.

Twenty-four hours after the star of Zoolander was responsible for making Astana check in late at the start of stage four, Stiller was back again with his new best friend Lance Armstrong, warming up on his rollers and reprising his role as Team Lance-Stana mascot.

On the roads, the riders looked as if they were auditioning for a part in one of Stiller's trademark slapstick capers.

Denis Menchov reminded the world of his reliability by surprising no one with a frantic tumble into the barriers. World champion Alessandro Ballan then proved he could stand in as the Russian's double by repeating his exact fall.

Four of the Bbox Bougyues squad showcased the true genius of French humour by falling into the same ditch on the same bend - but in entirely separate incidents.

Milram pair Peter Wrolich and Niki Terpstra got in on the act too before Silence-Lotto's Jurgen Ven den Broeck showed off his stuntman abilities by getting up after a painful high-speed road-rash crash.

To be fair to the riders, the route was pretty ropey. If Stiller was hoping for some Hollywood Blockbuster-style motorways he was to be disappointed. Instead we got tracks equivalent to art house Eastern European cinema, with winding plots full of holes.

But Stiller only had eyes for his new best friend Armstrong as he continued his bid to get the Texan onboard for a proposed sequel to Dodgeball.

Ignoring the cynics who claim There's Something About Lance, Stiller is pushing the seven-times Tour champ to come out of movie retirement after four years on the sidelines.

With Dodgeball II now tipped to be infused with cycling influences, George Hincapie is touted to take on Vince Vaughn's role as the good guy, while Chuck Norris, who played himself in the original, is set to be snubbed for a man much harder, Armstrong's friend Jens Voigt.

(Incidentally, fresh evidence came to light on Tuesday that those nasty crosswinds on Monday were in fact caused when Voigt farted. He's that tough.)

Back to the racing, where Astana tore the field to shreds much like the film Dodgeball (except the fact that the only Underdog amongst the Kazakh-funded team is the sole Kazakh representative, Dmitriy Muravyev, who must feel a bit of twerp lying in second-last position in the GC while his other team-mates razz it up in the top 10).

Unlike a feel-good Stiller movie, however, there was to be no happy ending for Team Lance-Stana after pantomime villain Fabian Cancelthefun rather parsimoniously clung on to the yellow jersey by a fraction of a second thought to be equal to a prodigious chin's worth of time.

Talk about messing up the script. Stiller looked as if he had just been told that the Night at the Museum franchise was to become a trilogy as he climbed the podium and huffily handed over the maillot jaune to some Swiss guy who wasn't Roger Federer.

Quite what he was doing there in the first place is anyone's guess, but one thing's for certain: there was no Blue Steel from Stiller, just a sense of Yellow Stolen.
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