Armstrong disappointed in Murcia, Bruyneel considers adding races
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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Armstrong disappointed in Murcia, Bruyneel considers adding races

by VeloNation Press at 12:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

RadioShack team leader Lance Armstrong finished his first European race of the season today, the Vuelta a Murcia, in seventh place overall, nearly a minute and a half behind the overall winner Czech Frantisek Rabon (HTC-Columbia). Armstrong went into the race saying that yesterday's stage, a pan-flat 22 kilometer time trial, was something he would use to indicate whether or not he was on course to secure an eighth Tour de France victory in July.

The American said he's disappointed with his performance in the five-day Spanish race, where he finished behind fellow Tour de France contenders Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and his RadioShack teammate Andreas Klöden.

"In the time trial my position on the bike was good, but I lacked strength," explained the 38-year-old to Sporza. "But I'm not concerned," he continued, "I am aware of the level of my performance, but I'm not stressed."

After the first stage of the race Armstrong told the press he "suffered a bit" despite riding well in the Tour Down Under in January. At the time his team manager Johan Bruyneel said his star rider was "still a long way off from being in good shape" which echoed Armstrong's comments.

Bruyneel said he thinks the problem is the lack of racing days, and told Sporza they're considering adding some races to his schedule. "Lance needs to race more," explained Bruyneel. "His condition is good, but he's lacking the speed and and changes in rhythm [he would get from racing]."

Earlier today in Paris-Nice, Armstrong's RadioShack teammate Levi Leipheimer equaled defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador's time in the race's opening 8 kilometer prologue. While things aren't going as well as expected at this point for the RadioShack leader, teammates Klöden and Leipheimer look to be well on their way to sharpening the team's triple general classification threat come July.

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