Lance quits Paris-Nice
Thursday, March 10, 2005 12.00am
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Lance Armstrong abandoned Paris-Nice after yesterday's third stage, when the affects of a sore throat worsened during another extremely cold stage. The six-time Tour winner said that he would not start stage four on Thursday but return home to Spain to rest for a couple of days before recommencing training. "Lance woke up this morning with a sore throat and with the cold weather, he began to feel worse throughout the day," said Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel following yesterday's stage into Craponne. "When we returned to the hotel, he began to show signs of a fever and appeared to be getting worse so we decided he should return to (his home in) Girona immediately." Armstrong finished in the bunch behind stage winner Vicente Reynes on yesterday's weather-affected stage into Craponne. He was lying in 62nd place overall, 1-35 down on race leader Tom Boonen. "I had finally adjusted to the jet lag of the trip but woke up this morning with a sore throat that seemed to get worse all day," said Armstrong. "I will return to Spain to rest up and be back on the bike in a couple of days." Armstrong heads out of France having given his backing to the country's capital as the site of the 2012 Olympics. "I honestly think Paris deserves the Games," he said. "I think it was the best candidate in 2008, but for various reasons it didn't win. Paris is one of the legendary cities on the planet." With the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission currently in Paris evaluating the city's bid for 2012, Armstrong also said that the St Denis stadium that hosted football's World Cup in 1998 would be a "special place for the inaugural ceremony". The American did offer some consolation to New York's bid for the Games, saying his heart was with them "given what they have lived through in the past four or five years." Armstrong added: "If New York does not win in 2012, they should be able to in 2016. I'm in a delicate situation, but I think that Paris would be an exceptional city [for the Games]. I also think that New York deserves something special like the Olympics."
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