Armstrong gives his verdict on his Tour of Flanders
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Monday, April 05, 2010

Armstrong gives his verdict on his Tour of Flanders

by VeloNation Press at 6:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
 

He was disappointing on day one of Criterium International but Lance Armstrong was a lot more satisfied with his performance after yesterday’s Tour of Flanders.

The Team RadioShack captain was very active in the second half of the race and finished as part of the chase group sprinting for fifth place, two minutes and 35 seconds behind a rampaging Fabian Cancellara. Riders such as 2008/2009 champion Stijn Devolder (Quick Step), Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto), George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) were also in this group, reflecting the Texan’s solid ride.

“It was better than expected. I felt good,” he told Sporza TV after the race. “I felt a little bit like a fish out of water, but I just tried to stay consistent and not panic. There were times when I was caught in the back because I didn’t know the circuit that well. But I felt better than I did all year, so that’s good.”

Armstrong has been working very hard all winter, spending long periods of time in Hawaii to take advantage of the good weather and to rack up the training miles in advance of the season.

He started his season in the Santos Tour Down Under, finishing 25th overall there, then went on to take seventh overall plus eighth in the time trial at the Vuelta a Murcia in March.

Fifteenth in the time trial and 47th overall in the Critérium International appeared to be a step backwards, but the Tour of Flanders ride means that his morale is on the up again.

“[I’m] gaining confidence, but it’s not like it needs to be,” he said. “But it is getting better…the trend was good.”

A race as tough as the Belgian cobblestoned Classic does however take its toll; this morning he reported on the after-effects of the race on his Twitter feed. “Trying to get moving this morning. Feel like I got run over by a truck.”

Armstrong was also asked by Sporza if yesterday represented the final Tour of Flanders of his career. He has stated that he might continue into 2011 if things go well in this year’s Tour de France; that result is of course several months away, and so he was non-committal about coming back to the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

“I don’t want to say, I don’t know,” he answered, when asked if he would be back in the race next year. “I would say if it was, but I honestly don’t know.”

Armstrong is likely to ride several more Classics this spring. In a schedule released three weeks ago, three big one-day races were outlined. These were Amstel Gold, on April 18th, Flèche Wallonne on April 21st and then, four days later, Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Before then, he is set to compete in the Circuit de la Sarthe stage race. The French event begins tomorrow and runs until Friday. It will give him a chance to further hone his form.

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