Participation contingent on Tour performance
Lance Armstrong reckoned he might pay two visits to Australia this year rather than one after arriving in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under. Since there is no other bike race in the country on the 2010 UCI calendar, the World Championship in Victoria is the only option. "I've definitely thought about it," he said, although his last participation in the event he won in 1993 at Oslo, Norway, was in Valkenburg, The Netherlands, where he finished fourth back in 1998.
"I need more information about the course," Armstrong said. "Initially I heard it was for sprinters, so it was out of question that I'd do it but then I read Robbie McEwen's comments saying there was a pretty nasty climb. It's unfortunate that coming to Adelaide we don't have the opportunity to go and see the course." In fact, Armstrong's private jet N7LA will fly out of Adelaide to the US straight after the last stage on January 24.
"While I'm here I'll take the opportunity to talk to Robbie, Stuey [O'Grady] and Patrick Jonker about the circuit of the world championship," the Texan said. "There could be two reasons for me to participate: to ride for winning myself or to put together a group of strong US riders to ride in support of Tyler Farrar.
"I'm a big fan of the world championship not being in France, Italy or Spain," he continued. "It's good to take it to Australia, China, South America or wherever. This is an event for the whole cycling world."
Armstrong also emphasised his race program has yet to be finalized after the Tour of Murcia (March 3-7). He mentioned the Tour of Flanders (April 4) as a possibility, the Tour of California (May 16-23) as a sure thing and then a choice to be made between the Dauphiné (June 6-13) and the Tour de Suisse (June 12-20) in the lead up to the Tour de France starting on July 3rd in Rotterdam. "I wouldn't be sitting here today if I didn't think I can win the Tour de France," he said.
Armstrong insisted his chances of continuing with road racing beyond 2010 depend on how he performs at the Tour de France. "It's 50-50," he said. His chances to take part in the World Championship in Geelong on October 3 also depends on how he rides at the Tour de France.
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