RadioShack's Lance Armstrong says he can win the Tour de France for an eighth time
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Armstrong says he can win the Tour

by Bjorn Haake at 4:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

Lance Armstrong said Sunday that he expects his rivalry with Alberto Contador to increase this year, now that both riders are competing in different teams. He is also confident he can win La Grande Boucle.

Armstrong reckons there will be some hype prior to the most important race on his calendar. "There's going to be a lot of buzz and build-up about that in 2010, especially now that we've all left to create another team," Armstrong told Australian Associated Press. "I will let everyone else build that up. I will be ready."

The Texan is known for his meticulous preparation. "I'm more excited than I was 12 months ago ... I feel good about it, I really believe I can [win the Tour de France]," he said.

"Every time I say it, there's 100 people who say 'no way', just because of my age, but I'm an optimist, so I'm staying there." Should Armstrong win, he would become the oldest Tour de France winner at age 38.

Armstrong and Contador rode together for Astana last season, but had a falling out. "All the personal stuff aside, just speaking about the athlete, he's a fantastic athlete, he's a very complete rider," Armstrong said. The American now races for RadioShack and took several riders, including most of the Tour team, with him.

Start in Australia

Soon he will tackle his first race of the season, the Tour Down Under (Jan 19-24). This is the race where he started his comeback in earnest last year, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. "As far as Australia is concerned, I loved it down there last year - the vibe of the race, the treatment of the fans, the reception we all had, the support of the local and state (South Australian) government.

"It's first class and the organization there really deserves a lot of standing ovations ... three or four years ago it was a small race, now it's on the ProTour."

Armstrong sent a message to his competitors, should things go well in 2010. "If I'm lucky enough to get another one [Tour de France], then I could see racing for another season, which would mean going again in 2011," he said.

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