Armstrong talks of missing the Tour

In an interview broadcast on Dutch TV on Wednesday night Lance Armstrong has indicated that he will

In an interview broadcast on Dutch TV on Wednesday night Lance Armstrong has indicated that he will
PICTURE BY TDWSPORT.COM In an interview shown on Dutch TV on Wednesday evening, Lance Armstrong indicated that he would not be riding the Tour de France this year and would be concentrating on the Classics. Speaking to Mart Smeets on the NOS channel, Armstrong said "a few years ago I had this thought: if I win six Tours, I will stop racing." Armstrong also indicated that that thought had been tempered slightly by the desire to take on new challenges. "At present, I am thinking of riding the Classics: the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race, Lige-Bastogne-Lige, Flche Wallonne and, who knows, even Paris-Roubaix. There are lots of things for me still to do. The world hour record is equally tempting. And perhaps a last outing at the world championships," stated the six-time Tour winner. Armstrong explained that setting a new record for Tour wins had long been his aim, and he had been given extra motivation to achieve it. "I've always dreamed of winning the Tour de France six times. My goal has been achieved. And I achieved this objective against all expectations. I was not happy reading predictions from the experts who thought I was too old to take a sixth title. That only increased my motivation. Now it's my turn to ask a question? Where were Heras and Mayo and Ullrich and Hamilton?" Armstrong's team manager at the Discovery Channel, Johan Bruyneel, was rather surprised to hear about his star rider's statements when contacted by the Belgian media. "I wasn't at the interview," he said. "Armstrong said that he would not be taking part in the Tour? If that was the case wouldn't I have been told? And I know nothing about that." Perhaps, though, Bruyneel and Armstrong fans can breathe easily. Although broadcast just last night, the interview with Smeets was recorded last November and not in the past few days. Nevertheless, this story looks set to run right into the first week of July.
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