Armstrong and Ironman runner-up Lieto to square off in TT today?
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Armstrong and Ironman runner-up Lieto to square off in TT today?

by Conal Andrews at 7:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

If the information posted on their Twitter feeds is correct, Lance Armstrong and 2009 Ironman World Championship runner-up Chris Lieto will go head to head today in an unofficial time trial on the island of Hawaii.

Both riders are sponsored by Trek and have competed before; Lieto rode in the Mellow Johnny’s Classic last year, placing 33rd in the mountain bike race. Armstrong retired from the race with a puncture.

The gauntlet was thrown down yesterday when Armstrong posted the following on his Twitter account: “Just passed @chrislieto going the other way. He was hammerin. Hey Chris, a little TT showdown on the Queen K tomorrow?"

Lieto appeared to take up the challenge, inviting Armstrong to contact him directly to work out a time and place. "See u on the Queen-K! Will have to be after 8am cause I have to swim first. Flying out mid day. Give me a call."

Armstrong replied, laying out the details. "Queen K Hwy TT Challenge. Tomorrow 9:30am. Start - Waikeloa Beach Dr to Kukio Nui Dr. 14 miles. Full gas. Take it easy on me"

Lieto also invited Armstrong to square up against him with a swim, but the latter said that RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel would block such a contest.

If taken seriously by the two athletes, the TT could give an indication of sorts as to how Armstrong would fare on the bike leg in triathlon. Last October his coach Chris Carmichael confirmed that the multiple Tour de France winner would compete in next year’s Kona Ironman world championships, and would compete with firm goals in mind.

“In 2011, he will be here,” he told “He is super psyched. And I think he wants to do more than just win his age group….”

Armstrong was a pro triathlete as a teenager, then later focused exclusively on cycling.


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