Lance Armstrong previews Giro's long time trial

Doubts whether to ride time trial bike

Lance Armstrong previewed the Giro d'Italia's long time trial yesterday in Liguria, Italy. The Astana rider based his seven Tour de France wins on strong time trials and wants the same for his first participation in the Italian Grand Tour, May 9 to 31.

"The Giro TT is wicked hard. Never, ever flat and 62 kms," he reported on his twitter account.

The time trial is one of the biggest talking points of the 2009 Giro d'Italia parcours. The stage from Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore is 61.7 kilometres, the longest time trial in 13 years and nearly double the length of the time trial in 2008.

Armstrong confirmed Damiano Cunego's early evaluation that a normal road bike would suit the technical route. "I'm doubtful for riding the TT bike as well. And the descents? Insane."

Armstrong, who returned to the sport after a three-year retirement, based his Tour de France victories on the time trials – he won 11 in total. The Giro's time trial in Cinque Terre will leave a mark on the race's overall classification with race favourites, Cunego, Ivan Basso, Denis Menchov and Armstrong all vying for precious seconds or minutes.

Armstrong is enjoying his stay in Europe, which is rumoured to be from his new base in Cap Martin, France. He lived in Como, Italy, in his early years as a professional. Later, he lived in Girona, Spain.

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