Lance Armstrong refused to comment yesterday on the latest doping allegations that are marring the seven-times Tour de France champion's farewell ride at the Tour Down Under.
On Tuesday, 'Sports Illustrated' magazine published fresh accusations against the 39-year-old American, who has been under scrutiny since former team-mate Floyd Landis accused him and other prominent figures in the sport of doping last May. "I have nothing to say," insisted Armstrong twice when asked about the article before the start of the second stage, before admitting he had read the report.
"I perused it...there's nothing there," he added.
When asked a third time about the report, Armstrong told a reporter: "Dude, are you that stupid? What part of 'I'm not commenting' is not clear to you?"
On the road, Armstrong finished in 42nd place in the main pack as Briton Ben Swift won a bunch sprint to secure Team Sky's first win in 2011.
Australian Robbie McEwen, Armstrong's team-mate, was second and snatched the overall lead.
HTC-Highroad's British sprint specialist Mark Cavendish was caught up in a crash four kilometres from the finish, but avoided serious injury.
"On the impact, his helmet broke and his glasses cut the arch of his eyebrow and his eyelid," HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper said. "It's impressive. He could have sustained serious injuries."
Cavendish lost three minutes and 47 seconds.