Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

Armstrong plays down chances of success in Australia

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-01-13

Though claiming he was back at his best, Armstrong said it was "unrealistic" to believe he would win the Tour Down Under, starting January 18, where he will mark his comeback three years after retiring from all competitions.

AFP - Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said Monday it would be unrealistic to expect him to win his first race in three years in next week's Tour Down Under.
  
The American cycling great declared he was in the best shape of his life at the start of a season as he prepared to return to professional racing at the age of 37.
  
Armstrong's appearance in the Adelaide tour has generated huge international interest, enough for organisers to take extra security measures to protect him during the event.
  
The first evidence of that was when he was escorted to a press conference here Monday by police.
  
Armstrong said he was excited and looked forward to racing again.
  
"I think it would be unrealistic to expect a victory," he said.
  
"The race has gotten harder and harder over the years.
  
"I hope to be in the mix, I could be completely wrong. I might be the first guy dropped."
  
Armstrong said he was as serious as ever about the competition.
  
"I've prepared much harder this series of months than I ever would have in the past," he said.
  
"The tests that we do on the bike, or on the road, or in the lab indicate that my January fitness is much better than it ever was the years when I was winning the Tour (de France).
  
"But that doesn't mean anything until you get into the race."
  
Armstrong said his decision to return to competitive cycling was influenced by his campaigning efforts for cancer awareness.
  
"For me, it's not so much a sporting challenge, and it's not a financial challenge, it's not any of those things," he said.
  
"I came back as a volunteer and so I'm here for the love of the bike and the passion of the cause."
  
Armstrong has dedicated the Tour Down Under not only to his comeback but his anti-cancer fight through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which was formed in 1997, one year after Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
  
He successfully battled the cancer in 1996, retired from riding in 2005, but has dedicated his comeback to his "Livestrong" cancer prevention campaign.
  
Armstrong will race with his Astana teammates for the first time on Sunday in the Down Under Classic criterium warm-up in Adelaide, and said he wanted to use the tour to re-adapt to racing after coming out of retirement.
  
"I just don't want to get clobbered too bad. That is my main motivation for training hard," he said.
  
"I don't have any illusions of grandeur. I hope I get in the race and get re-acclimatised to the tempo and the speed and what it is like to be around 200 guys in a fast-moving group, and we will see."
  
Armstrong's arrival in Australia ended days of speculation as to his travel plans, which organisers had tried to keep secret.

Date created : 2009-01-12

COMMENT(S)