Armstrong confident despite crash

Lance Armstrong has suffered several small injuries in a crash during a training ride around Nice,...

Lance Armstrong has suffered several small injuries in a crash during a training ride around Nice, France. News agency AP reported the six time-Tour de France winner to have a black eye, a cut over his right eyebrow and abrasions on his hands and knees, after the fall, which happened at low speed during the start of a training ride last week. Apparently, he lost control on his time-trial bike after trying to hit a wasp, and sailed over the handlebars, his helmet splitting in two on impact.

Nevertheless, Armstrong is looking forward to the French Grand Tour. "I'm excited about the race," he said. "I feel very good on the bike. And I would even venture to say that I feel better than I've ever felt." The Texan also insisted that the motivation to win the event for a seventh consecutive year is even stronger than before.

"My kids weren't there last year and that was a real bummer for me," Armstrong said. "And they are going to be there this year. For them to come over here, come into my office basically, and see their father at work is important to me. And I would love for them to see me in a yellow jersey. That, right there, alone, is plenty of motivation."

Armstrong, who has a final training ride scheduled for Monday, June 27, will recon the Saint-Etienne time trial of the penultimate stage on Tuesday. Later in the week, he will also see the opening time-trial course. "I fully understand that when I go and do reconnaissance on a course, that is the last time I'll do that as a rider," Armstrong said. "I'm not going to lie and say that I start crying when I finish or anything because I've sort of been glad that I won't be doing that anymore. Athletes can't play at the highest level forever. So much of it is about timing and figuring just how long the body can continue to do what it does. This year felt like the right time to stop, and based on what I can tell, I'm ready to hopefully go out at or near the top."

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