Lance: 'I wasn't expecting much'
Monday, March 7, 2005 12.00am
Lance Armstrong described yesterday's Paris-Nice prologue performance as "undoubtedly the worst of m
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Even though he finished a lowly 140th in the prologue of Paris-Nice on Sunday, Lance Armstrong was understandably still very much in demand during his first weekend of competition in Europe this season. The Discovery Channel team leader admitted he is not expecting too much from his appearance in this week's 'race to the sun', with the collection of competition miles his prime objective. He also hinted that he may yet line up at Paris-Roubaix next month in order to help loyal team-mate George Hincapie's quest for a first Roubaix title. In an interview with L'Equipe, Armstrong described his prologue performance at Issy les Moulineaux as "undoubtedly the worst of my life". Like all of his peers competing on a freezing French day that foretold an extended winter rather than the advent of spring, the Texan had trouble keeping warm before racing, and admitted that "from just after I set off I couldn't feel my fingers." He added that he has no real ambitions for Paris-Nice, "apart perhaps from not finishing last. I have to lose weight and I haven't got enough power at the moment to be at the front at a race like this. "I'm probably a bit behind where I am normally simply because I've spent more time than normal in the United States. Certain people may see that as a sign of something, but in my head everything is OK. The only bad news is that I'm only staying in Europe for a month before returning home again. But this month will be one of hard work without any distractions. So, now, let's get to work!" Armstrong returned once again to the subject of his decision to ride this year's Tour de France, emphasising that he had never said he wouldn't be. "I simply took my time in making the decision," he affirmed, before going on to deny that there had ever been any pressure from his new team sponsor to ride the Tour this year rather than next. "In the end I simply wanted to continue my adventure at the Tour de France. My heart made the decision for me." In an interview with France 2 TV, the American confirmed his definite participation in the Tour of Flanders on April 3 and suggested that he might even ride Paris-Roubaix the following weekend. "That decision is up to [Discovery team manager] Johan [Bruyneel]. I will let him decide. There is a small chance that I will ride," said Armstrong.
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