Suddenly seven: Armstrong approaches final phases before seventh Tour challenge
After a gruelling four hours in the saddle on Stage 4 at the 57th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré that finished atop le Mont Ventoux, Cyclingnews European Editor Tim Maloney had the opportunity to grab a few moments with six-time Tour champion and two-time Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré winner Lance Armstrong, to talk about his quest for an unprecedented seventh consecutive Tour de France win next month. It was Lance's final rite of passage with the "bastard" of a mountain that is Le Mont Ventoux climb that still remains unconquered by Lance after his fourth place on the Dauphiné Libéré stage.
Cyclingnews asked Lance how it went on Ventoux and as usual, the Texan didn't skate around the facts, telling us, "Well, it was tough! Tough as usual (on Ventoux) and a tough day in general, because it was very, very windy. The climb is relentless; very steep at the bottom and just difficult at the top. There were a lot of attacks and a lot of rhythm changes so I just tried to ride my own tempo. But in the end I rode steady and was happy enough with the effort.
CN: So you felt good on le Mont Ventoux?
LA: Yeah, I felt OK, pretty good. Not super, but not bad...
CN: I hear you had a new bike today, the Trek SSLx climbing bike.
LA: It's the bike I've been using the whole time at the Dauphiné Libéré. Trek has done some special stuff to their SSL frame and we've added some special pieces, some nuts and bolts, stuff like that. It's a nice bike; it rides well and it's stiff and even on the descent (down the back side of le Mont Ventoux) it was good. (Trek told Cyclingnews that their SSLx prototype is stiffer and lighter than the previous SSL model via a special carbon composite that uses a OCLV Boron together with the OCLV 55 of the original SSL model).
Click here for the full interview