Armstrong: 'I've got no regrets'
Lance Armstrong joined Johan Bruyneel in the Discovery Channel team car for today’s Giro stage, but
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Lance Armstrong was the main attraction of the day at the Giro as he joined his former Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel in the team car for the day. Speaking to the press before the stage, the American admitted he missed training side of professional cycling but not the racing. “I’ve no regrets,” he declared.
Asked whether he had been following the sport in the 10 months since his retirement, Armstrong admitted; “To be honest, I haven’t been following cycling much. I care about how the Discovery Channel team are doing but that’s about it. Being a father takes up most of my time and outside of that, the issues in and around cancer are the most important thing I work on daily.”
Despite doping allegations appearing the French press last year and doubts subsequently cast on him by Tour de France race director Jean-Marie Leblanc, Armstrong confirmed he would be returning to the race this July. “I’m going to go to the final week of the Tour de France. I like France and I like the people,” he affirmed. “I don’t want to have a coffee with Jean-Marie Leblanc or anyone from L’Equipe, but they’re a small part of the French population.”
Armstrong also cast doubts on Jan Ullrich’s chances of winning the Tour after saying earlier this year he expected the German to start as favourite. “I originally picked Ullrich to win, but he seems to be behind again. If he’s only five kilograms overweight, that’s pretty good for him but I don’t understand him, he’s so much to gain. I don’t know if he loves the bike or not, but he could be the biggest sporting star in Germany.”
The seven-time Tour winner did back former team-mate Paolo Savoldelli as a likely Giro winner. “I think Savoldelli could win, he’s riding well. His performance in the time trial was good and surprised everybody. He’s skinny but it’s a very hard Giro,” said Armstrong, who will follow his former team in Thursday’s team time trial that follows Wednesday’s rest day.
After that, he revealed he would be heading into France to ride up Alpe d’Huez as part of a friend’s 50th birthday celebration. He added that he is also training hard for November’s New York marathon, admitting “that’s hard because it’s a whole different set of muscles and so I’m always tired and sore.”